‘Confess It, Fletch’ Can’t Make Chevy Chase’s Iconic Laughs

Greg Mottola’s “Confess, Fletch” stars Jon Hamm as Irwin M. Fletcher, an investigative reporter who passes by “Fletch” and often gets into trouble every time he steps out of his apartment.

We get to know Fletch, now played by Jon Hamm, as he discovers a dead body in his living room. Police believe the body is the work of Fletch, who was barefoot and completely indifferent about being the prime suspect.

By digging deeper, Fletch uncovers a conspiracy among the wealthy elite and essentially unleashes a relentless string of shrewd know-how, while almost always wearing the LA Lakers’ helmet.

This is one of those long-term projects that it seems will never get done.

Since Chevy Chase hasn’t played the role since 1989, the announcement of a new Fletch movie has come and gone for decades. Notable candidates for the role include Jason Lee and Jason Sudeikisthough they should have gone straight to Ryan Reynolds.

He basically played Fletch for his entire movie career.

The movie feels too late from the start, as it opens with the Miramax logo and the introduction of “Miramax Gifts” – the new owners haven’t considered rebranding or they really want Harvey Weinstein’s parents’ names , let alone Weinstein’s connection, to flourish?


Based on Gregory McDonald’s 1976 novel, “Confess, Fletch” has been fully updated for the 21st century (with references to “Molly” and the social network) and revolves around a direction removed from the narrative. The character’s popular Chase repeats. For example, Fletch still uses disguises and false identities during her investigation, though that element (generally the comics in Chase’s hands) is treated with caution here.

The tone generally reflects an adaptation by Elmore Leonard, although nothing here matches the ending of “Get Shorty” (1995) or “Out of Sight” (1998). At best, this is pleasant, and a few scenes quite amusing, but it never turns out that way.

Hamm is a good choice for Fletch and such a solid actor, it’s a David Duchovny-level puzzle how this successful TV actor could never have started his film career. photo correctly.

Kyle MacLachlan excels as a wealthy suspect and Marcia Gay Harden, always welcome, is tripped over by a one-note, broad-accented character. Roy Wood Jr and Ayden Mayeri score the most laughs in supporting roles as suspicious law enforcement officers who follow and harass Fletch every step of the way in his investigation.

Unfortunately, continuously as good as Hamm, “Confess it, Fletch” is too mid-way to linger in the mind after it’s over. Mottola’s witty drama has strong performances and is a polished, professional endeavor, but it’s too light and comfortable.

The first two “Fletch” movies, directed by the late Michael Ritchie, matched the unrelenting sarcasm about its protagonists. Here, the whole movie is as chilling as Fletch’s attitude and that’s a big deal.

This doesn’t need to be a more action/comedy or comedy to work better. What is needed is to make us more interested in the outcome of the mystery and to invest a real sense of danger in the proceedings (first, still best “Fletch” has succeeded in this).

While a much better film than Katherine Heigl’s unfortunate “One for the Money” (2012), it lacks the same energy.

Here’s a scene where Fletch questions a potential suspect in her apartment, who she nearly burns to the ground, due to her indifference to fire; it’s one of the only scenes here that are truly amusing and capture them.

On the other hand, the central mystery is too predictable and the jokes are clever but not amusing.

Give Chase the credit he deserves. “Fletch” is not only funny but tight, sharp, interesting, and Chase has always been a better fit for that role than Clark W. Griswold throughout his career.

Chase has created other successful vehicles but “Fletch” is his “Beverly Hills Police.”

In the original and in its huge, hit sequel, “Fletch Lives” (1989), Chase was electric. I’m not stuck in the 1980s and don’t think “Confess, Fletch” needs a cameo from Chase, but I do miss Chase and even his ’80s but still great theme tracks. Harold Faltermeyer.

It’s not enough here to make an impression, as Hamm has been better elsewhere. I would be surprised if this somehow started and Hamm returned to the role. In case there’s another of these in Hamm’s future, I’m hoping that the next time we see Fletch, there’s more at stake than the future of the 33-year-old series, as of now. This point, peaked in the 1980s.

Two stars

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