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Fletch (SE)
DVD disk
May 14, 2007 By: Jason Adams
Fletch (SE) order
Director:
Michael Ritchie

Actors:
Chevy Chase
Joe Don Baker
Dana Wheeler-Nicholson

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Investigative reporter and master of disguise Irwin Fletcher is trying to break open the city’s biggest drug ring while posing as a beachside bum. When he’s randomly approached by a wealthy man looking to be murdered for insurance money, Fletch’s investigative skills lead him in to a dangerous world of high society, police corruption and Utah.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I remember the exact moment Chevy Chase ceased being funny to me. I was 11 years old, a big fan of the VACATION movies, had just watched CADDYSHACK for the first time and was eagerly sitting down to his latest film, MAN OF THE HOUSE. After he found me two hours later, sobbing in the fetal position and cursing the name Jonathan Taylor Thomas, my dad took me aside and gave me the talk that signals every boy’s departure from childhood: what happened to Chevy Chase’s career.

Thankfully, FLETCH is old Chevy Chase, the good Chevy Chase. It’s not his best movie or role (Ty Webb gets that distinction), but it does showcase his strengths as a one time comedian. Irwin Fletcher is perhaps the best example of bone dry, nearly unrecognizable humor. Within ten seconds of screen time, Chase may have thrown out five or six one-liners or random non-sequiturs that, if you’re apt to catch them all, will keep you chuckling constantly. Not to mention the man’s impressive ability to say things like, “My car just hit a water buffalo” or “It’s me, Dr. Rosenpenis” and keep a straight face.

Like with any comedy, your enjoyment of FLETCH will depend on your sense of humor. There’s some obvious jokes and physical comedy, such as the tape recorder gag and, of course, “Mooooon Riiiiver…” However, the film’s real strengths lie in the subtle moments: Fletch’s version of Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night,” his nonsensical Spanish responses, and his faith in the power of ball bearings. Some of these jokes border on being random just for the sake of, but there are many more hits than misses. And packaged with a predictable but fun detective story and one of the catchiest 80s synth soundtracks, FLETCH makes for a breezy escape to a time when Chevy Chase was more CADDYSHACK than COPS & ROBBERSONS.
THE EXTRAS
Special features without Chevy Chase = FAIL.

Making and Remembering Fletch (26:33): A retrospective hosted by an annoying DVD producer and featuring interviews from the crew and supporting cast, all of whom talk about the noticeably absent star of the movie. And to rub it in, they show pictures from deleted scenes, but none of them are included on the DVD.

The Disguises (4:56): A quick look at some of Fletch’s outlandish personas (John Cocktoastin FTW!), including interviews from random makeup artists and costume designers.

Favorite FLETCH Moments (2:39): A montage of random scenes from the movie can hardly be considered an extra.

The Theatrical Trailer.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
While the man’s name is nowadays synonymous with words like “ass,” “suck” and “KARATE DOG,” Chevy Chase used to be funny and FLETCH is a good reminder of the heights from which he’s fallen. It’s not a comedy classic, but definitely worth a viewing if you haven’t seen it before. The DVD itself is quite disappointing and not worth buying unless you’re an enormous FLETCH fan.

Extra Tidbit: The restaurant Moe’s Southwest Grill serves entrees named after FLETCH, including the “Fat Sam,” the “John Cocktoastin,’ and the “Head of Alredo Garcia a Cup of Hot Fat.”
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