Confess, Fletch: Review
Confess, Fletch Synopsis: After becoming the prime suspect in multiple murders, Fletcher (John Hamm)strives to prove his innocence while simultaneously searching for his fiancé’s stolen art collection.
The wise-cracking charms of Irwin Fletcher receive a modern paint job in Confess, Fletch. As a former journalist who bumbles his way through investigations, Fletch originated in 1974 and produced a period of prosperous pop culture success. The character’s smarmy charms became the subject of 12 novels by author Gregory Mcdonald and two 1980s films before eventually fading into obscurity. Studios discussed several reboots over the year, including projects with the likes of Kevin Smith and Bill Lawrence involved, but none of the revivals ever came to fruition.
Based on one of Mcdonald’s most beloved works, Confess, Fletch finds Man Men star Jon Hamm embodying the character’s distinctive brand of cheeky detective work. Hamm and Superbad writer/director Greg Mottola collaborate on a free-spirited romp that consistently pops in its comedic pursuits.
Despite his success on the small screen, Hamm is an actor who often seems underutilized by studio executives. The actor’s smoldering looks, effortless magnetism, and dramatic gravitas have always suited him for movie star roles despite being relegated to sturdy character actor parts. As Fletch, Hamm finally discovers the big-screen role tailor-made for his appeals as an actor.
Hamm takes the spotlight in nearly every frame of Confess, Fletch and steals the show throughout. He exudes a captivating presence and unbound confidence as Fletch savvily charms his way through quirky situations. It would have been easy for the character to feel like a bumbling buffon devoid of textures, but Hamm’s sly comedic bite and radiant personability consistently grounds Fletch as a compelling figure to rally behind. Co-stars Roy Wood Jr. and Ayden Mayeri also add their comedic touch as cops trailing Fletch’s footsteps.
Confess, Fletch similarly fits Mottola’s sensibilities like a glove. The writer/director exhibited an eye for timeless storytelling with coming-of-age darlings like Superbad and Adventureland. With Confess, Fletch, Motola showcases his understanding of the character’s old-school charms as someone who grew up idolizing the Fletch lore. His screenplay embodies a breezy storytelling approach fitting of Fletch’s aimless pursuits, often journeying from one bizarre comedic situation after another with winning results. The actual mystery itself of the film isn’t particularly fascinating, but Mottola ensures that the journey always remains more captivating than the final destination.
Mottola’s composed directorial touches also encompass the Fletch aesthetic. The director utilizes Composer David Arnold’s jazzy score and Sam Levy’s scenic cinematography as bright tools for expressing the character’s distinctive charms. Thankfully, none of the vibrant touches end up overwhelming the material’s sleight charms. I give Mottola ample credit for keeping the source material’s roots intact while finding clever ways to modernize his approach (several references to a post-COVID-19 world are executed with more thought than most COVID-based films).
Confess, Fletch ultimately comes together as an uproarious crowdpleaser with sincere affection for its source material. With rumors of a potential sequel already sprouting, I hope Hamm, Mottola, and their creative team get a chance to continue the Fletch legacy.
Confess, Fletch is opening in limited release and on VOD services on September 16.