The Reel Review

B+

After being framed for a murder, former investigative reporter Irwin M. Fletcher, a.k.a. Fletch, takes it upon himself to prove his innocence while simultaneously finding the killer and locating his fiancée’s stolen art collection, in this comedy/crime caper starring Jon Hamm. The film adaptation is based on the late Gregory McDonald’s second installment in the Fletch comedic detective series, made popular in the 1980s by two films starring Chevy Chase.

Jon Hamm in Confess, Fletch

Hamm, as the shoe-averse, laid-back protagonist, keeps the tone lighthearted and silly, not going as far as the Chevy Chase goofiness of the prior films but still retaining their clever banter with an array of quirky characters. Among the funniest: Annie Mumolo (Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar) as an oversharing stoner, Roy Wood Jr. (The Daily Show) and Ayden Mayeri (I Love That for You, Spin Me Round) as the two cops who can’t seem to agree on anything, and Kyle MacLachlan as a germophobe art dealer. The weakest of the bunch is Marcia Gay Harden, rocking one (intentionally?) awful Italian accent as the Countess and Fletch’s could-be eventual mother-in-law.

Marcia Gay Harden and Jon Hamm in Confess, Fletch

Co-writer/director Greg Mottola (Keeping Up with the Joneses, Superbad) cranks out the jokes like they are on an increasingly fast conveyor belt. The whodunit, while not terribly shocking, is light, breezy fun – a decent way to kill an hour and a half with plenty of chuckles.

REEL FACTS

• Before Jon Hamm signed on to the reboot, several other actors considered and passed on the role over the past decade – among them: Zach Braff, Ryan Reynolds, Justin Long and Joshua Jackson

• Sequel alert! The story Frank tries to get Fletch to take on at the end of the film sets up the plot for the next novel in the Fletch series, “Fletch’s Fortune.”

• John Slattery and Gene Amoroso, who both starred as Boston Globe staffers in 2015’s Best Picture Oscar winner Spotlight, are Boston Sentinel newsroom staffers in Confess, Fletch.

 

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