Let Jon Hamm lead more movies. In fact, it is time that Hamm’s comedic chops are highlighted. Listeners of the Doug Loves Movies Podcast have had the pleasure of hearing Jon Hamm set up against some incredible comics, and hold his own. The man is charming and funny, a one-two punch that should have him headlining far more movies. His role in Confess, Fletch – which is the second Fletch book (of 11 total) adapted by Greg Mottola and Zev Borow and directed by Mottola – is essentially a sequel to Fletch (1985), where Chevy Chase played the titular character. The new movie puts Hamm in the role of the wise-cracking investigative reporter as he discovers a murder victim, leading to him becoming Inspector Morris Monroe’s prime suspect (Roy Wood Jr.). Fletch sets out to prove his innocence while continuing his own objectives over the course of the film.
The comedic chemistry in the scenes with Wood and Hamm are great. Hamm is truly able to bring the dryness to the witty dialogue needed to sell the humor. There is something much more likable with Hamm’s portrayal of the character than what Chase was able to bring. While I never saw the much less loved Fletch Lives (1989), I have not been a lifelong fan of the first film. I watched it only a few years ago, and while I found it entertaining, it didn’t jump high on my list of comedy favorites. Chase has always felt a bit unlikable in all his movies – even Christmas Vacation, a film I love and watch every year. Hamm manages to bring enough charm to the character that you don’t hate him, but you also know you can’t fully trust Fletch. He has his own agenda, and everyone else is just a pawn on his chess board.
The pawns are where Confess, Fletch gets a lot of mileage in terms of humor. The cast in this film is terrific, including Kyle MacLachlan, Annie Mumolo, Ayden Mayeri, Lorenza Izzo, Marcia Gay Harden, and John Slattery. There are very many funny moments intertwined into a generally compelling mystery. Fletch keeps the audience informed just enough to keep us hooked, but there is always a hint that he has motives underneath the surface that even our watchful eyes aren’t privy to.
Confess, Fletch will be in theaters and On Digital on September 16, 2022, and I definitely recommend it. I had a great time watching the film, and the Hamminess of it all. If we are lucky, this film will do well enough to get some of the other books adapted with Hamm at the helm. The resurgence of the comedic mystery is one that I’m here for, and I give Confess, Fletch the Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy rating.