Confess, Fletch review – as the trailer says there’s only one Fletch — this isn’t it.

By Marc Miller
Published: September 15, 2022


As the trailer for Confess, Fletch says, there’s only one Fletch — this isn’t it.

This review of the film Confess, Fletch does not contain any spoilers or significant plot points.

I’ve always thought Jon Hamm was an underappreciated and underutilized comedic performer. But I recently contracted Covid-19, and I wonder if I lost my ability to laugh or find him funny along with my sense of taste and smell. Hamm’s new take on the series of Fletch books is more amusing than anything laugh-out-loud, and that mostly comes from one supporting character. In the movie, Confess, Fletch works better as a nice little mystery and the methods used to solve the crime. Alas, director Greg Mottola and co-writer Zev Borow cannot capture Gregory McDonald’s acid tongue. Nor can Hamm fine-tune a comic delivery close to Chevy Chase.

The script is based on the second book in the McDonald series of the same name. Here, we find Hamm’s Fletch walking into a rented home and finding a dead body. A young woman with blonde hair in a summer dress. It’s a strange coincidence. While Fletch is investigating stolen paintings, a woman trying to make it in the art world dies.

Fletch had just arrived from Rome that night, and his rich girlfriend, Angela (Knock Knock’s Lorenza Izzo), set it up for him. He is there to locate Angela’s family’s priceless paintings, and she thinks her ex-stepmother, the wildly eccentric Countess (an over-the-top Marcia Gay Harden), has taken them. Now Fletch is the prime suspect in a murder investigation, as the lead detective, Inspector Monroe (Roy Wood, Jr.), plays the investigation into multiple shady suspects and characters.

The final product of Confess, Fletch, is remarkably uneven, especially in the sense of having a complete set of characters that are so bizarrely different nothing seems to mesh. It’s as if they had been plucked from other genres only to take a wrong turn in this story. Not only do you have Harden’s out-of-place Countess, but Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar‘s Annie Mumolo’s Eve is also something out of an SNL skit.

The supporting character that works well is Wood’s Inspector Monroe, who has a set of amusing bits. A detective who is always yawning and constantly falling asleep at work because of his new child, even when his partner gives chase and tracks Fletch throughout the city.

If anything, the script would have worked better if Fletch had been the eccentric character. Hamm, who simultaneously has that Ryan Reynolds ability to be devilishly handsome and hilariously funny, is relegated to the straight man. And when he does try his hand at some acid tongue quips, the majority fall flat.

Confess, Fletch, for the majority, mildly works as a mystery film, and any humor derived has an inconsistent tone. Besides an amusing — there’s that word again — bit of Fletch using creative ways with fireworks for investigation, the movie is more pleasant than enjoyable. That’s strange, considering Mottola’s pedigree with Adventureland and even Borow penning a couple dozen episodes of Chuck. But, as the trailer says, there’s only one Fletch.

This isn’t it.

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