A talented but naive French jockey finds himself turned into a pawn of Macau-based Chinese bookies in “Stretch,” a French-Thai co-production that might’ve looked great on paper but never does onscreen. David Carradine, who has what amounts to a cameo as a shady betting mogul, died of accidental asphyxiation before production wrapped, further throwing the shoddily assembled and told drama — co-penned by Canuck novelist Douglas Coupland — off balance. Scribe-helmer Charles de Meaux (“Shimkent Hotel”) would do well to retain his day job as one of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s producers.
After a doping scandal in his native Gaul, cocky superjock Christophe (Nicolas Cazale) travels to the Chinese gambling capital, Macau, where he catches the attention of wealthy stable owners and betting specialists alike. The go-getter’s a binary creature who either wins or is frustrated he can’t or isn’t allowed to win. Onscreen text messages fail to illuminate Christophe’s personality; the locals are a cliched bunch stuck with risible dialogue (“I am rare like a panda, I only have sex once a year”). Pic’s gaffer was obviously asleep when the French sequences were shot; the rest of the tech package is passable.