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 [show more]
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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.