Love them or hate them, reboots are here to stay. We’ve had some great ones; Batman Begins, Spiderman: Homecoming and David Gordon Green’s Halloween are great examples of reboots that have earned their place.
And then there’s the bad ones: Friday The 13th, The Mummy, Nightmare on Elm Street. Honestly, we could do this all day. Comedies have also had their share of reboots and the latest of those is Confess, Fletch, Greg Mottola’s take on the classic 80s comedy franchise, starring Chevy Chase.
Fletch (Jon Hamm) finds himself as a suspect in a murder investigation when his Italian girlfriend Angela (Lorenza Izzo) sends him back to the States to collect her father’s valuable paintings from a house. Fletch arrives to find a dead woman in the living room, but no paintings, which are needed for ransom for Angela’s kidnapped father.
Confusing, right? Surprisingly, it’s not. Although Confess, Fletch constantly has a lot going on in it, Mottola carefully and skilfully navigates the narrative so it never becomes convoluted or pretentiously complex for no good reason.
Jon Hamm is a very welcome upgrade from Chevy Chase who has become a controversial figure lately after he was accused of toxic behaviour on previous sets. Hamm is charming, funny and relaxed as Fletch and it’s lovely to see him do a bit of comedy after a stint of playing very serious men in various films, including Top Gun: Maverick.
Confess, Fletch is a particularly handsomely cast film. Marcia Gay Harden steals all her scenes and her pronunciation of Fletch will leave you in stitches whenever she says it. John Slattery has a frustratingly small part as an editor, but it’s still great to see him and Hamm reunited on screen.
The problem is that Confess, Fletch just isn’t very interesting. There are several very funny scenes, but somehow they don’t form a cohesive film that’s funny throughout. A scene where Fletch questions a neighbour whom he thinks might be able to help is a doozy though and almost worth the price of admission alone. Annie Mumolo is hilarious as Eve, even if nothing really reaches the highs of that early scene.
Mottola’s film plays it safe throughout its 98 minute runtime. It’s a perfectly nice film and in times like these, we could really use more of those, but nothing makes Confess, Fletch memorable. I remember thinking during the film that it’s nice and funny and my notes reflect the same, but now, days later, I struggle to recall details or the specific flavours that made the film such a delight to watch.
Perhaps Confess, Fletch needed something bigger, something more outrageous to tie it all together or something that completely steals the show. Mottola and Zev Borow’s screenplay is full of snappy dialogue and entertaining one-liners but no real zingers. Confess, Fletch is a fun enough reboot and continuation of the Fletch franchise but this one might not warrant any more entries to the tired series.
Confess, Fletch is now in cinemas.