Jon Hamm delivers as the charming and mischievous detective.
I’ve watched the original “Fletch” comedy from 1985 with Chevy Chase, and he was funny and entertaining in that role. I didn’t hear good things about its sequel, so I’m going to focus my eyes on better films in the past. But I’ve also heard good things about the remake “Confess, Fletch,” which now has Jon Hamm as the freelance journalist Fletch, who is also charming and troublesome.
When he’s called “a shady guy,” he responds: “But I am adorable.”
If Chevy Chase’s Fletch could sneak his way into a fancy tennis club and punish a jerky member by ordering an expensive meal under his tab, then there’s no reason why Hamm’s Fletch can’t bend the rules to get to the bottom of whatever case he’s roped into. There’s no humiliation of any kind, just a password that says: “go****yourself.”
In “Confess, Fletch,” he has two problems to deal with. His Italian lover Angela’s (Lorenza Izzo) father has been kidnapped by people who want a Picasso painting of his, and when he comes to Boston, he finds a dead woman in the house he’s staying at. The Inspector Monroe (Roy Wood, Jr.) and his partner Griz (Ayden Mayeri) both label him a suspect in the case, because the killer shares the same height and built as him, and Fletch did tamper with some evidence at the scene.
With some brilliant supporting roles from John Slattery (Hamm’s old “Mad Men” co-star as a disgruntled editor), Kyle MacLachlan (as a germaphobic Harvard professor), Annie Mumolo (as a sloppy woman), Eugene Mirman (Gene Belcher from “Bob’s Burgers” as an awkward security guard), and Marcia Gay Harden (as an eccentric countess), “Confess, Fletch” is second behind the 1985 comedy, because of how director Greg Mottola (“Superbad,” “Adventureland”) takes the Gregory McDonald character and transforms him into a goofy charmer.
Chevy Chase was a comedy star who knew how to be quirky before his hard times, while Hamm is a charming actor who knows how to be serious, how to be dashing, and how to be funny. I like both Chase and Hamm as Fletch for their own perspectives and aspects that make them so comically appealing.
The amazing thing is that Hamm and Mottola’s last film together was “Keeping Up With the Joneses,” which was dumb and wasted from start to finish. “Confess, Fletch” is smart and persistent from start to finish.
There’s not much to the story, but it doesn’t glamorize this installment to the comedy franchise. Unlike certain remakes like Robert Zemeckis’ take on Disney’s “Pinocchio,” this doesn’t take the most obvious approaches, and degrades no one. I mean, yes, there’s a joke when a dog urinates like a horse when it gets hungry, but still Hamm is less interested in that than the CGI Pinocchio was in wanting to learn about a pile of animal crap.
This Fletch and the previous Fletch are more interested in taking risks in order to solve the crimes and get their stories out there. It’s a comedy that loves and hates the world of journalism. Conflicting it sounds, but true it is.
In Select Theaters and Streaming on VOD