Review – Confess, Fletch

Movie studios are always looking to create movies and TV series from bestselling books.  Characters like Hercule Poirot (from Agatha Christie mysteries), Jack Reacher (from the books by Lee Child), Jack Ryan (from the books by Tom Clancy), and – most popular of all – James Bond (from the books by Ian Fleming) have been made into several movies and/or TV shows.  So, it’s no wonder that this is the second time someone has tried to make a movie with Irwin M “Fletch” Fletcher (from the bestselling books by Gregory McDonald).  The first time, Chevy Chase starred as Fletch in a couple movies in the late 80s.  For this movie, Jon Hamm takes over the role.

The story starts with Fletch finding a dead body as he enters the house he’s renting in Boston.  He calls the police – instead of calling 911 because “The emergency part is over” – to report the crime.  The detectives think he’s the prime suspect in the murder.  Fletch slips away while he adds finding the murderer to his to-do list.  The first item on the list is to find the kidnapped father of his Italian girlfriend.  Second is to find the collection of expensive paintings that were stolen from the girlfriend’s family – which the kidnappers included in their ransom.  His investigation leads to a variety of suspects including the new wife of the man who was kidnapped, a shady art dealer, and the gossipy next-door neighbor.

I just wish the cast was as strong as the story.  I thought Jon Hamm was great as Fletch and I hope he will do some more movies as the character, but with a new cast.  Except for John Slattery who reunites with Hamm in this movie (they both starred in the “Mad Men” TV series), I thought the rest of the cast was very flat which made some of the scenes very flat.  The Italian girlfriend (Lorenza Izzo) doesn’t react much when Fletch botches his attempts to speak Italian (“I want to swim in your eyes like a piss”), the Boston detectives (Roy Wood Jr and Ayden Mayeri) seem incompetent as Fletch brushes off their questions and gives them the slip when they try to follow them, the new wife (Marcia Gay Harden – with a terrible accent) is just annoying when she decides to stay at the same house that Fletch is staying in, the shady art collector (Kyle MacLachlan) seems to be trying to out crazy his “Twin Peaks” character by playing a germaphobe who loves EDM music played very loudly, and the next door neighbor  (Annie Mumolo) is not that funny in a scene where she slices her hand open and almost set the place on fire as Fletch interviews her (I’m guessing the scene is directly from the book – and I hope it’s funnier in the book).  I didn’t laugh much and neither did the few other people in the movie theater I was in.

That might be why the movie recently premiered in select movie theaters and on video-on-demand on the same day.  From what I read; it will also be playing on a streaming site before the end of October. 

Overall: It’s a very good story with a very good lead but it’s brought down by a bad supporting cast.

I give it 5 out of 10 stars.