In 2012, director Joe Carnahan made one of the more compelling and acclaimed of Liam Neeson’s action vehicles, The Grey, which used the premise of stranded men fighting off wolves in the Alaskan wilderness to explore deeper themes of masculinity. It turned a solid profit, brought Carnahan back into critical favor after Smokin’ Aces and The A Team, and had the film world as eager as it could be—which is to say, somewhere between mildly and keenly interested—in what Carnahan might do for a follow-up.
And now that follow-up is finally here! Carnahan’s action-comedy Stretch has a big-name cast (Patrick Wilson, Chris Pine, Brooklyn Decker, Ed Helms, Jessica Alba, James Badge Dale, Ray Liotta, Norman Reedus), and Universal Pictures intended to put the film out last March, only to pull it in late January. The producers were invited to shop it around to other distributors, but when nobody took it, the film reverted back to Universal, which would find some “creative” way to release it that didn’t involve people buying a ticket at a movie theater. Now Stretch, about a limo driver (Wilson) who takes a billionaire (Pine) for a spin one crazy night, has found that creative release strategy: It’s going straight to VOD. It will be available on iTunes and Amazon on October 7 and other VOD platforms a week later. Here’s the trailer:
The trail of the tape
Director: Joe Carnahan
Screenwriter: Joe Carnahan
Cast: Patrick Wilson, Chris Pine, Brooklyn Decker, Ed Helms, Jessica Alba
Release date: October 7 (iTunes/Amazon); October 14 (VOD)
The entire trailer in one line of dialogue: “Grab a cab, yeezy, I’m busy.”
The entire trailer in one screengrab:
Carnahan is the sort of director whose work get described as “high-octane,” for better or worse. That the trailer for Stretch touts it as “From the director of Smokin’ Aces” seems both an accurate reflection of its tone of ensemble guns-and-gags wackiness and a curious choice of titles, given that Smokin’ Aces is Carnahan’s worst film to date. But let’s try and keep an open mind.