5/10 Chevy Chase had many iconic comedy roles earlier in his career leaing up all the way through “Community” but one of his most famous roles was as Irwin “Fletch” Fletcher in 1985’s “Fletch” and its 1989 follow-up “Fletch Lives”. Developtment for a reboot has been ongoing for over a decade with everyone from Ben Affleck to Jason Lee to Zach Braff to Brad Pitt to Jimmy Fallon as possibilities to take over the role. Directors like Kevin Smith, Bill Lawrence and Steve Pink were all attached to direct at various points over the years. Things finally came to fruition as Greg Mottola (“Superbad”) signed on to direct with Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”) in the lead role as Fletch. I watched both Chevy Chase films in preparation for seeing this latest installment and both films hold up well comedically with rapid fire jokes, clever wordplay and surprisingly strong mysteries to solve at the center of each film. After 33 years, “Confess, Fletch”, which debuted in a limited theatrical release and on VOD, ends up falling short of both 1980’s comedies. Part of the problem is leading man Hamm. Hamm is a great actor and has even pulled off comedic roles before but he feels miscast here. Even though this is a different take on the character that is supposed to be more faithful to the book upon which the character is based, it is inevitable that Chase and Hamm would be compared to each other for their portrayal of the same character and Chase comes out on top. It probably would have been better for Mottola to go for a comedic actor who sometimes does dramas as opposed to going with a dramatic actor who occasionally dabbles in comedies. While there are some funny one-liners, particularly in the first half of the movie, there aren’t enough laughs to sustain the movie, especially in the second half. There are several one note characters (Ayden Mayeri as Griz, John Slattery as Frank) or characters that are just completely over the top (Annie Mumolo as Eve and Marcia Gay Harden as The Countess, who is also miscast). Flat characters and miscasting plagues the movie and there just aren’t enough laughs to justify its existence. While I get that this movie wants to set itself apart from the previous two installments, seeing Chevy Chase don multiple disguises and faking several different accents was highly amusing and entertaining. Hamm doesn’t get to do anything half as outlandish, which would have been nice to see him embrace the absurdity of the movie. As for what works, the mystery at the center of the movie is fine and there are a couple of twists and turns near the end that I enjoyed. As I stated earlier, there are some solid one-liners in the first half of the movie. The pacing works well as the movie constantly moves forward and the score by David Arnold is one of the highlights of the movie. There are several nods to the original two movies in regards to Fletch’s ex-wife and his love of the LA Lakers and luckily these aren’t too heavy handed or forced. They feel natural for who the character is. If you keep your expectations in check and watch this on VOD, you might find some fun to be had. However, if you want more bang for your buck, you are better off sticking with both of the Chevy Chase films, which can both be watched back to back within three hours.

#StopTryingToMakeFletchHappen / #HammChasingChevy / #TheArtOfTheSteal / #CountessMeIn / #SuperMadMen / #IrwinSomeIrloseSome

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