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Parents' Guide to

Confess, Fletch

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Comedy-mystery reboot has funny bits, pot, sex, swearing.

Movie R 2022 98 minutes
Confess Fletch Movie Poster

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

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No matter the quality of the writing, the authenticity to the source novel, or the talent of the cast, this new Fletch movie is missing a pivotal element: Chevy Chase. Irwin M. Fletcher is Chase's career-defining character, so there's no way to watch anyone else, even the very talented Hamm, put on Fletch's Lakers hat without thinking of how Chase would deliver every line. And because Chase was allowed to improvise dialogue and fly in whatever direction he felt worked when making his two Fletch films, he's said that the Fletch character is basically him. How can anyone overcome that legacy?

That said, if Fletch fans watch with low expectations, knowing that it will never quite measure up, this story about the former L.A. investigative reporter who walks into a murder does have legs. And it could be a great pick to view with teens who haven't yet seen (or aren't emotionally attached to) the 1985 classic before watching Chase's version and then getting their take on which one is best. Comedy changes over time, and kids' opinion may not be what you expect. Really, the humor in Confess, Fletch is closer to an episode of Seinfeld: Fletch is the sane one, and the supporting actors are zany (they're all pretty funny, and Annie Mumolo's performance is hysterical perfection). The beats are similar to the previous Fletch movies, moving from one crazy scene into another. But this time, the retired reporter goes undercover in a more believable way: No wacky costumes or fake teeth here. Neither, however, are there any quotable lines, which were the hallmarks of great '80s comedies and feel like an art form that has mostly vanished with the move toward more authentic stories. But some things are consistent, like an ending that hurts your head if you try to make sense of it.

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