After years of being stuck in development hell, author Gregory McDonald’s most famous character Fletch finally returns to the screen in Confess, Fletch from Paramount Pictures. Under the tutelage of director Greg Mottola, Jon Hamm steps into the role made famous by comedy legend Chevy Chase in the eighties. Mottola also serves as the film’s writer, adapting the second Fletch novel.
Now in a relationship with Angela (Lorenza Izzo) and living in Rome, Fletch (Hamm) becomes embroiled in yet another scandal. The priceless collection of rare art belonging to his girlfriend’s family has been stolen, and her father has been kidnapped.
He receives a tip about the missing art, which leads him to Boston, where he walks straight into a murder scene. To the unfazed Fletch, it appears as a set-up, but it looks pretty different to Detective Monroe (Roy Wood Jr.). Although the case seems straightforward, Monroe is reluctant to arrest the only suspect.
Now under the detective’s watchful eye, Fletch must try to clear his name and search for the missing paintings. Meanwhile, Angela’s stepmother, The Countess (Marcia Gay Harden), works tirelessly to enlist Fletch’s help, much to his dismay.
Since one of my favorite filmmakers, Kevin Smith, tried to get a Fletch reboot off in the ground in the late nineties, I’ve been awaiting the character’s return to the screen Reboots of “Fletch” starring Will Smith, Chris Tucker, Ryan Reynolds, Ben Affleck, and Joshua Jackson failed. However, the closest “Fletch” reboot ever came to reality was Kevin Smith’s attempt at making “Fletch Won.” Smith’s idea was to have Jason Lee play Fletch or possibly even the son of Fletch. Per the norm of Hollywood, though, the character got stuck in development hell until now.
I never read any of the Fletch books, and I haven’t seen the Chevy Chase starring Fletch films in at least twenty years. Fletch from 1985 was more light comedy than a rundown detective story. That film is mainly about Chevy Chase’s disguises and improvisation skills. So I went into Confess, Fletch with an open mind.
While I never watched Hamm’s most famous role as Don Draper on Mad Men, he impressed me in The Town, and I’ve liked him in other comedies. One of the first things I noticed about Hamm’s take on the character is the script caters the version of Fletch to Hamm’s natural charisma with a bit of incompetence.
Hamm brings little ticks to Fletch to get himself out of situations that make the film work. Watching the film, my wife and I were generally invested in unraveling the mystery. I commend the scriptwriters for avoiding potty humor because they have an R rating. The comedy moments in the film come across as natural.
The film’s supporting cast are all having just as much fun as Jon Hamm. My favorite supporting character was Detective Monroe (Roy Wood Jr.). I’ve been a fan of Roy’s comedy for years, so seeing him in a more prominent part was great. While Confess, Fletch isn’t groundbreaking by any means, here’s hoping we get to see Hamm play the character again.
Final Grade: B
Confess, Fletch is In Theatres, On Digital, and On Demand on September 16, 2022
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