Before ‘Mad Men’ molded his public image as a complicated heartthrob, John Hamm was often seen in the comedy field, being very funny in a role that Chris Hemsworth would later exploit as a handsome goofball. The success of the series killed that aspect almost definitively, focusing his career on failed projects where he tried to be the robust star to go, little by little, being typecast as an FBI figure on duty in different thrillers.
Her forays into comedy were very, very sporadic, and they no longer had the same charm as they were already goofy. And she could no longer return to the elegant gentleman in dramas, because those films already barely have space and would earn unnecessary comparisons. However, the best work of his since then seems to find a sweet spot between the two worlds, although unfortunately it is a project in a complex existential situation: ‘ Confess, Fletch‘.
Rresearch as you can
Originally born in a series of comically punctuated investigative mystery novels by Gregory McDonald, the character of Fletch was originally brought to life by Chevy Chase in the 1980s in what may be his most iconic film. ‘Fletch: the chameleon‘ and, to a much lesser extent, ‘Fletch revives‘ left aside the touch of mystery to emphasize the talkative and cheeky character that Chase didn’t even paint.
Movies that certainly seemed like an extension of his Saturday Night Live work and that launched his leap as a movie star. Also relics of a past that are now more intellectual property to be exploited by studios in their need to create content for their marginal streaming platforms. This is the case of a Paramount that gave the green light to this reboot that concerns us today, designed mainly for its platform and having a marginal simultaneous release in theaters in the United States.
By not having either one or the other here, ‘Confess, Fletch’ reaches rental platforms such as Filmin or Movistar+ with the same discretion as its American premiere, seen with prejudice as another attempt to create an impossible franchise. However, view shows that all prejudices were wrong. There’s a terrific movie that completely eschews any comparison to Chase’s hits, offering something different in today’s comedy and featuring a fresh and inspired Hamm.
Because we must not confuse the commercial intention of the studio with the artistic one. Here Greg Mottola, who had previously excelled in a hilarious youth comedy with ‘Superbad’ and ‘Adventureland’, here offers an interesting change of record. Taking more from McDonald’s original novels, he makes a stylish piece of mystery comedy that turns out to be hilarious while still having his pants buttoned up.
The Fletch from ‘Speak up, Fletch’ is facing a murder charge. When he arrives from a fabulous trip through Italy, he finds a crime scene in his apartment where all the evidence points to him, and he will have to investigate what is behind all this while using his garrulous character to get the police to give him away. margin. Thus, he begins an investigation with fewer disguises but the same hard face, coming across various characters and situations from which he emerges with as much ingenuity as impudence.
‘Fess up, Fletch’: a sophisticated and deliciously silly comedy
Hamm is superb in this new interpretation of the character, and he manages to be perfectly in tune with the tone. Fine and classy, but without fear of the bizarre and goofy. It’s a dangerous middle ground, but both actor and director strike gold there and never falter. He is intelligent and sophisticated in his way of presenting the crime, but always finds the space to place the silly joke, the crazy joke, either with a witty line of dialogue or with an excellent counterpart in another actor.
It is also delicious to see established and varied actors like Kyle MacLachlan, Marcia Gay Harden, Annie Mumolo or John Slattery replicating Hamm, creating a colorful game that is always fun to follow. It turns out to be a better skeleton than the pure mystery part of the plot, which has ups and downs but never loses that pocket novel spirit that makes the film somewhat endearing and makes it fall very nice.
But you don’t need half-hearted compliments, either. ‘Fess up, Fletch’ is one of the best pure comedies of recent years, offering a fresh approach while still being hilarious. It finds the humor wonderful while still being stylish, and offers the best vehicle for its lead actor’s charisma that has been seen in a while. It shouldn’t go under the radar and, of course, it would be a shame not to have a sequel with films that maintain that special dynamic, as light as it is skillfully realized. We should have one of these a year.