Written by: Gregory McDonald (novel), Andrew Bergman (screenplay)
Directed by: Michael Ritchie
Starring: Chevy Chase, Joe Don Baker, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson
My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous TV reviews!
Newspaper reporter Fletch is offered a large sum of money to kill a millionaire with terminal cancer, but he begins investigating when the man seems perfectly healthy.
This movie is solely a Chevy Chase vehicle. Every part of it is to cater to or set up his style of comedy. While he helps carry an otherwise bland movie, it also makes this a bit of a sketch show, the story always relegated to a subordinate role, though it's a great collection of one liners and camera mugging from him.
Gregory Mcdonald's popular Fletch novels served as the inspiration, though Chase largely got to put his own spin on, improvising many of his lines. He's stated it's his favorite performance due to that reason.
This movie is a perfect fit for Chase as he exhibits his smug brand of comedy, but that's also the only reason to see this. There isn't much of a movie without Chase. It's a film noir meets comedy with Chase's voice over summarizing swaths of the movie. The story is a bland would be detective adventure. This starts with a man mistaking Fletch (Chevy Chase) for a junkie. That's easy to do since Fletch is undercover for a story. Fletch is offered fifty thousand to kill the man who claims to have bone cancer. Fletch being a reporter has to investigate.
Fletch muddles his way through the movie masquerading as any number of characters to find the truth, effortlessly faking his way through every interaction. While too many of the interactions rely on Fletch name dropping somebody he doesn't know, the rest of the dialog more than makes up for it. It's incredibly quotable and quite witty.
The story doesn't matter. I can't imagine anyone sees this for the story as the only reason this exists is to showcase Chevy Chase. If you want to watch this for any other reason, you've picked the wrong movie.