Confess, Fletch | Movie threat

Admit it, Fletch marks the third screen appearance of beloved rapier-wit reporter Irwin M. “Fletch” Fletcher and the first in nearly 40 years since Chevy Chase famously filled it at the height of his cinematic popularity.

During that time, several attempts have been made to revive the character after the outdated sequel Fletch lives in 1989. Ryan Reynolds, Ben Affleck, and Joshua Jackson were all mentioned to fill the lead role, but none of these incarnations officially took off. Finally, director Kevin Smith tried to breathe new life into the franchise Alvin and the Chipmunks’ Jason Lee in the early 2000s, but that too derailed before filming.

Admit introduces us to Jon Hamm’s manifestation of the character, and frankly, it’s perhaps one of the actor’s best big-screen roles, allowing him to slide on his cool confidence and flex his comedic chops along the way.

Director Greg Mottola and co-writer Zev Borow hew closer to writer Greg McDonald’s vision of the character, steering away from Chase’s crazy characters that characterized his two films and ultimately swallowed Ought to (which was not based on a Mcdonald novel). Instead, they focused more on weaving together the various subplots that entangle our titular hero.

Fletch goes to Boston to investigate, only to wake up to a dead woman in his Airbnb, and he becomes the prime suspect…”

We now find Fletch in early retirement from journalism and in Rome flirting with a woman named Angela (Lorenza Izzo), whose wealthy father has been kidnapped. Angela is involved in a tug-of-war with her stepmother, known as the Countess (Marcia Gay Harden), over the ordeal, as there is a financially significant painting that is also part of the mystery.

Fletch heads to Boston to investigate, but wakes up to a dead woman in his AirBnB and becomes the prime suspect in her murder. Throughout, Admit is scattered with possible colorful culprits and gives Fletch two up-tight cops (Roy Wood Jr. and Ayden Mayeri) to target his frequent verbal barbs.

It’s certainly not nearly as intricately constructed as Rian Johnson’s Knives out, and it doesn’t try to be either. Instead, Matolla and company kiss at a leisurely pace on par with our lead’s cavalier attitude. Instead, Matolla lets us marinate in situations where Fletch can wiggle his way into (and out of) a series of escalating awkward predicaments.

Admit works because Hamm decides to tone down all the “Chevy-ness” of the character and is actually much closer to the source material than the SNL alum’s take. As a result, Fletch feels more like an actual character rather than a series of sketches that allow him to take a series of silly poses and mugs for the camera.

It’s not nearly as quotable as a result. There’s no “Clud Henry Smoot,” “Harvey Poon,” Arnold Babar, or “Dr. Rosenpenis” to be found here, and Fletch’s zingers won’t make a Youtube highlight reel. But for those who have read any of McDonald’s -the adventures of the reporter (there are nine, not including the “Son of Fletch” novels), Admit it, Fletch feels much more authentic and gives Hamm one of the biggest sandboxes to date for his talent. And here’s hoping for future chapters.

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