2022, Movies

Confess, Fletch (2022, Greg Mottola)

This is a moderately amusing comedy that would be greatly improved by a better cast and better direction.

I haven’t seen Fletch since I was…I have no idea how old I was. Maybe 12. And I do believe I saw it more than once. And I’m sure I saw its sequel but it would have been back then too. I have very little memory of it. Unlike Fletch Lives this is based on one of the novels as Fletch was, and I feel like it might be intended as a proper sequel, albeit nearly 40 years later.

This feels like the story is from a novel. Though the story seems kind of convoluted it is wrapped up in a tight little bow very neatly in the climax. And it feels like the screenwriters did a good job updating the novel for 2022, even if I don’t really know that because I have never read the novel. What I’m saying is the story and script seem good. The plot seems to work, it feels like it should occur in 2022 rather than the ’70s, and there are plenty of jokes. From my distant memories of Fletch, it feels like a Fletch movie.

Except there is one massive problem. Well, there is more than one problem but there is a really big problem to start and that is John Hamm. Hamm is…fine, I guess. He’s not terrible but he’s hardly what I imagine in the role. And it felt like there were so many lines that his delivery or his performance somehow neutered. I laughed a bunch but I should have laughed a lot more given the script. This is one of the rare instances when I watched a film and I felt like the lead performance was off enough that the film didn’t work as well for me as it could have.

But Hamm isn’t the only problem. I feel like the rest of the cast is also an issue. The timing felt off on so many jokes. And I’m not sure what Marcia Gay Harden or Robert Picardo are doing. I kept waiting for Harden to reveal she wasn’t who she said she was.

It’s possible it was on the direction. It’s possible the timing of everything isn’t on the cast. But the director has lots of comedy experience, including a number of projects I have found really funny. So I think it’s the cast.

I laughed. I was reasonably entertained. But I spent the entire movie thinking about how much funnier this could be if the timing was better.

6/10

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