Wednesday, June 10, 2015

3 Short Paragraphs: Stretch

2014, Joe Carnahan (The Grey) -- download

Stretch is a movie about failed lives. Dashed dreams. And hope. That niggling, annoying voice in the back of your head, hope. Our main character, Stretch, starts the movie fairytale like, crashing headlong into the woman he falls in love with, dumping his addictions to drugs & gambling, only to be dumped by her one year later. He had done it, abandoned his failings, was working to be a better man. But life even likes to kick you when you are going up. So now Stretch drives a stretch limo, badly and without the respect of his boss, like all Hollywood limo drivers. His idol, the perfect limo driver who always knew what the customer wanted, put a bullet in his head not so long ago, so now Stretch gets to drive around with the hallucination come ghost of his fallen idol. Also, Stretch is already a failed actor. He's a stereotype who's aware he is a stereotype.

Stretch still wants to do better, despite the teeth kicking. He owes a bit more money, and has to get it soon, because the last little bit of his debt is now owned by a strong arm who will probably hurt him. Y'know, new owners need to make their name. So he takes on the white whale -- a crazy eXtreme business mogul named Karos -- bearded, crazy and unexpectedly actual height Chris Pine. And there are cops and crooks and car chases and gang banger wannabes, and the crazy limo competition, wrestlers-driving-rolls royces.

The movie harkens back to that spate of indie movies that emerged back in the late 90s and 2000s, in response to, well, better done indie movies. They may have not been as good as their predecessors, but they had heart. I often compare movies to said period, because it was that point in my movie watching eras where I started noticing differences in tones and expectation. Movies didn't have to be grand scale blockbusters to be good. This one is not as good as something like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which is the perfect indie, LA based, violence & comedy romp, but it is a damn fine example.