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Chevy Chase stars in this comedy directed by Michael Ritchie. Fletch (Chase), a newspaper reporter with a talent for disguise, is working undercover to catch a gang of drug traffickers when he meets wealthy businessman Stanwyk (Tim Matheson). Claiming to be suffering from terminal cancer, Stanwyk asks Fletch to engineer a break-in to his mansion and bump him off so that his wife can claim the life insurance. Sensing something is not quite right, Fletch goes undercover to investigate.
Fletch is a fairly sarcastic and occasionally very funny Chevy Chase vehicle scripted by Andrew Bergman (Blazing Saddles, The Freshman, Honeymoon in Vegas) from Gregory McDonald's lightweight mystery novel about an undercover newspaper reporter cracking a police drug ring. Enjoyment of the film pivots on whether you find Chase's flippant, smart-ass brand of verbal humour funny, or merely egocentric. If you don't like Chase, there's really no one else worth watching (Geena Davis is sadly underused). Chase seems born to play IM "Fletch" Fletcher, a disillusioned investigative reporter whose cynicism and detached view on life mirrors the actor's understated approach to comedy. Fletcher offers Chase the opportunity to adopt numerous personas, as his job requires numerous (bad) physical disguises, and much of film's humour centres on the ridiculous idea that any of these phoney accents or bad hairpieces could fool anyone. These not-so-clever disguises are put to use when Fletch becomes involved in the film's smart but continually self-mocking two-part mystery. As well as trying to gather drug-smuggling evidence against the LAPD for a long-overdue newspaper story, a rich and apparently terminally ill stranger also offers Fletch a large payoff to kill him. While the film does a fairly good job juggling both of these plots, not to mention tossing in a love interest as well, they're subservient, for better or worse, to Chase's memorable one-liners and disguises. Followed by two forgettable sequels that lack both the original's wit and Chase's attention span.--Dave McCoy, Amazon.com
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Top Customer Reviews
The extras are okay, lots of the film's stars are present, with one notable exception: Chevy himself!
Oh well, off for a visit to Dr. Jellyfinger.
As a result Fletch appeals to the adult in me while Fletch Lives appeals to the kid barely concealed inside. There's loads of great one-liners from our man Chase and even if that doesn't float your boat Harold Faltermeyer's score is just plain awesome. It's unfortunate that "Irwin F" never became as famous or iconic as "Axel F".
I've read the book, and it's as different as it is similar to the plot of the movie, except for one major difference; Fletch's cases are not connected in the book but they are in the movie. Gregory MacDonald had the final say on who they cast as Fletch and rejected Burt Reynolds (no way) and Mick Jagger (say what???) before approving Chase. Along with Clark W. Griswold he's his most famous character (Ty Webb coming in at 3rd place).
It's not aged so well though, the film is clearly very 80s, unlike the sequel which doesn't use any pop songs, But even if the pop tunes anchor this in 1985 it's still one of the best comedies of that decade and no one can call themselves a film buff without owning/watching.
The Blu Ray features a 1080p 1.85:1 picture but since much of the film has a rather drab color pallet only a few nicely-shot scenes look good. The DTS-HD MA sound really brings Faltermeyer's score to life though. Extras do not feature Chase and are in standard definition.
Ace undercover investigative reporter Irwin M. Fletcher adopts numerous disguises and personæ to get to the bottom of two different cases which actually turn out to be part of the same scam, involving fraud, bigamy, narcotics and police corruption. Along with the disguises comes a variety of deadpan noms de jours that poke fun at, presumably, certain types of Californians in general - eg. "Nugent. Ted Nugent", "Igor Strawinsky" and "Don Corleone."
The film's slow pace and Chase's comic manner may be an irritant to some, but the film has moments when it simply tickles the funny-bone. Such as the aero-engineers discussing the by-pass valve, the roller-skating rabbi on the beach, and the near-cringeing evading the cops during a Veterans' meet (Fred 'the Dorf' Dorffler). A nice Hollywood in-joke is squeaky-clean 'Jim-Bob Walton' (yes, 't is he!) as the teenage car-thief with dental braces. Fletch's penchant for the Los Angeles Lakers is rewarded with a nice cameo from then-larger-than-life popular basketball-player Kareem Abdul-Jabar.
Director Michael Ritchie's lightness of touch, along with understated support from Richard Libertini, Tim Matheson, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Joe Don Baker and an early-in-their-careers Geena Davis and George Wendt, allow Chase's style of comedy to never become either too overbearing or too quirky (although Ted Underhill's credit card must have helped ...). However, four years later, both Ritchie and Chase conspired to lose that quite successful touch with the irredeemably dire Fletch Lives.Read more ›
Chevy Chase should have been a mega-star. I love Chevy Chase and I am not afraid to say it, and what's more I don't even need therapy for it 8 -) (he was of course commanding a rumoured $7m dollars per movie in the 80s, but he just sort of died down in the 90s)
This is the story of Irwin Fletcher, casually named "Fletch", a comedic interpretation of the novel by Gregory McDonald. You may have read Irwin's column under the heading of "Jane Doe", hey it pays the alimony (Well actually he doesn't but it's good to pretend he does).
Fletch is working a case on the beaches of Santa Monica, Fat Sam (`Cheer's' Norm) never leaves the beach, but somehow he always seems to have a steady flurry of drugs to sell to the bums and deadbeats who inhabit the rundown beach area. Whilst working on this story Alan Stanwyk (Tim Matheson) offers Fletch a proposition. He wants the beach loner (as Stanwyk sees him) to murder him in his own home, for a respectable fee of $50,000. Stanwyk has a bone cancer and is dying. He wants to save his family the anguish of watching him fade away, his insurance will pay out handsomely for a death from a suspected break-in. Hence the extremities of his demise, suicide means the insurance won't pay out.
However, Fletch looks into the background of his proposed victim, and discovers all is not as Mr Stanwyk claims, and perhaps he has more than one family, ironically the two cases he is working on may be in some way connected.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent film, clear picture and sound quality well worth buyingPublished 8 months ago by Chris Willoughby
I think this is the better of the two Fletch films. Chevy Chase just proves why his firm of sardonic wit and one liners made him funny.Published 11 months ago by Dave McCloskey
Great service, highly recommended, item delivered as described and within the time stated.Published 12 months ago by Dariusz