Release Date: May 31st, 1985
Directed by: Michael Ritchie
Written by: Andrew Bergman
Based on: Fletch by Gregory Mcdonald
Music by: Harold Faltermeyer
Cast: Chevy Chase, Joe Don Baker, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Richard Libertini, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Tim Matheson, M. Emmet Walsh, George Wendt, Kenneth Mars, Geena Davis, George Wyner, Chick Heam
Vincent Pictures, Universal Pictures, 98 Minutes
“Why don’t we go lay on the bed and I’ll fill you in?” – Fletch
Because I’m not a big Chevy Chase fan, I hadn’t seen Fletch since the ’80s and even then, I don’t think I ever watched it from start-to-finish until now.
Seeing this as an adult, though, I think my mind has shifted. I actually dug this movie quite a bit and it’s made me rethink Chase and his contributions to cinematic comedy.
If I’m being honest, he was perfect in this, it truly utilized his charm and his comedic style. In fact, I’d even say that his style was enhanced by this script and the situations throughout the movie.
He wasn’t a complete self-absorbed prick like he was in most of the Vacation movies. Sure, he was definitely self-impressed with his own antics but he was actually a heroic character, trying to uncover a mysterious plot and rid the beaches of drug pushers with ties to the local cops. He also had this coolness about him that was similar to the coolness he had in Caddyshack but this even eclipsed that, as he was this film’s focal point and he wasn’t competing for laughs with Rodney Dangerfield and Bill Murray.
The cast is also stacked with lots of great character actors like Joe Don Baker, M. Emmet Walsh, George Wendt, George Wyner and Kenneth Mars. It also featured Tim Matheson and a very young Geena Davis. However, I really liked Dana Wheeler-Nicholson in this, as the female lead. She had good chemistry with Chase and their budding relationship was believable and nice to watch.
I also thought that the Harold Faltermeyer score was solid. I think it’s my favorite score he’s done after his work on the first two Beverly Hills Cop movies.
Fletch might be the perfect Chevy Chase film. I’m going to have to review the sequel in the next few weeks. While I think it’s safe to assume that it’s not as good as this flick, I hope it utilizes Chase’s talent as well as this did.