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[personal profile] innocent_man
Fletch Lives is, of course, the sequel to Fletch, though interestingly it's not based on one of the novels. It stars Chevy Chase, Hal Holbrook, Julianne Philips, R. Lee Emry, Randall Cobb and Cleavon Little.

Chase returns as Fletch, an investigative reporter for an LA paper. He gets fed up with his boss (Richard Libertini) jerking him around just about the time he inherits an 80-acre Louisiana plantation from his aunt, quits his job and moves down south. The first night there, he beds the executor of his aunt's estate (Patricia Kalember), and then wakes up to find her dead.

The investigation introduces him to a television minister (Emry) trying to buy up all the land in the area to expand his Bibleland amusement park, as well as said minister's daughter (Philips), as Girlfriend. I actually wish that they'd somehow kept Kalember as the love interest. Her character was, to me, more interesting and capable in the brief time we see her before she's fridged.

Fletch does his usual thing of putting on disguises and telling outlandish stories (claiming, while in a biker bar, to own Harley-Davidson, for instance), but unlike Fletch, here it's not as often about getting information as just letting Chase perform. In the first movie, he'd be just silly or offensive enough to get a rise out of someone, here he just kind of rambles in places. I dunno, sometimes it works, but for the most part they ditched the mystery and kept this comedic.

A standout: Cleavon Little (whom those of us with taste in movies know from Blazing Saddles) plays Fletch's occasional sidekick here, Calculus. He's kind of a caricature, but it's implied all the way along that he's much more than that...and lo, turns out he's an FBI agent investigating the same things Fletch is. All in all, the movie works, even if it's not quite as interesting as the original.

My grade: B
Rewatch value: Medium

Next up: The Castle in the Sky

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January 2013

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