The spirit of “Fletch” tries to live on in this franchise reboot. With neither the spontaneous humor so synonymous with Chevy Chase nor the quick-witted back and forth that made the original such a standout. Director and writer Greg Motolla, along with television writer Zev Borow try to bring that same energy, trying to employ similar gags and dialogue to varying results. Still, it often falls flat, and part of that magic is Chevy’s physical humor and facial expressions. Jon Hamm is very capable of being the comedic lead, but has yet to find the right role with the right material. Motolla has given us strong characters having written “Adventureland” and directing the seminal comedy classic “Superbad”, “Fletch” certainly tries to stand on it’s own with Hamm bringing his own brand of humor that feels familiar to the Fletch world, but has a little more bite.
Joining Hamm on this outing are John Slattery, Marcia Gay Harden, Kyle MacLachlan, Lorenza Izzo, Ayden Mayeri, and Roy Wood jr. It’s a pretty stacked cast of colorful characters who interact with Fletch is one goofy interaction after another, but it feels like they are just that, silly characters only there for a laugh. The pacing is well done, never feeling overlong or talky, but the plot and the villain leave much to be desired. Overall I was left feeling like this would have made an excellent pilot for a television show, the low stakes and uninspired story felt like it was quickly churned out. This project has been in development hell for decades with a myriad of talented directors and actors attached, it may have been better served to stay in development. It does nothing to set itself apart or even align itself with the original, it is a very middle of the road attempt.
2.5 out of 5