|Star:||Chevy Chase, Joe Don Baker, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Tim Matheson|
|Cert / Year:||PG / 1985|
Irwin "Fletch" Fletcher is an undercover reporter. He is currently hanging around the beach trying to uncover the drugs trade there, when wealthy businessman Alan Stanwyk mistaking him for a bum makes him a proposition. Stanwyk claims he is dying of cancer and wants Fletch to kill him, seeing a story Fletch agrees. The trouble begins when Fletch begins to investigate, as soon he is on the run from every one from the cops to disgruntled country club members. Only Fletch's quick wits and mad disguises can keep him alive.
There are certain films that always cheer you up, and for me this is one of them. There really is something about a person who can play the fool all of time and get away with it which is both entertaining and fun. The film manages to give us this and a great one-liner packed script that moves at such a frenetic pace it can't fail.
The key to the film is the central character of Fletch. Here you have a smart alec who acts the fool and who doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut, yet he is likeable and charming. A role filled to perfection by Chevy Chase. Chase is an actor that has somewhat lost his shine in recent years, as he got stuck with the funny family man roles (thanks to the Vacation movies), but in this role he showed us what he was really capable of. His ability to jump between characters is great as he makes what could have been a very silly character believable, and even cool.
So with the central role catered for there is a need for something for him to do. Luckily we have a well-rounded story with plenty of twists and loads of tricky situations for Fletch to blagg his way out of. What's more it is packed with comedy and some of the slickest dialogue ever seen. Whether is it Fletch gate crashing an autopsy, or stealing a car from a car thief the laughs and the action keeps things moving along nicely.
There are two other factors as to why this film works so well. The first is the superb supporting cast. From Joe Don Baker to Norm from Cheers George Wendt there are many familiar actors in the mix. There is even a young Geena Davis in an early film role. This quality cast provides a perfect springboard for Fletch's antics, and makes the one-liners all the more funny. The second factor is the great eighties style soundtrack. From the outstanding Harold Faltermeyer theme, all the way through the film the music may be dated but it matches the action well (rather reminiscent of another great eighties soundtrack from Beverly Hills Cop).
Fletch is a slickly written, and well-acted comedy thriller. It may be rather dated and it does rely on the appeal of Chevy Chase, but if you can get past this you have a very entertaining film. There is something refreshing about a central character that doesn't rely on his fists preferring to bluff his way out of every situation. The fact that he is so smartly cheeky and that he gets away with it makes the film a whole lot of fun. This is one old movie that is really watching, and then maybe you could try the sequel Fletch Lives (or if you can wait it is rumored that Kevin Smith is working on a prequel).
Meet the only guy who changes his identity more often than his underwear.
Fletch: I saw Alan this morning and I was wondering...
Gail Stanwyck: Alan's in Utah.
Fletch: ... And I was wandering what I was doing in Utah.
Madeline: I'm sorry, who are you again?
Fletch: I'm Frieda's boss.
Madeline: Who's Frieda?
Fletch: My secretary.
Gail Stanwyck: You ordered lunch to my room.
Fletch: Well, I knew that's where my mouth would be.
|16:9||Rather washed out.|
|Dolby Stereo||Clear but thats all.|
|It's a crime Fletch should investigate, what a poor disc.|