I’ve always been a sucker for a good old comedy mystery. Unfortunately for me, these kinds of movies and television shows aren’t exactly popular nowadays. There has been a sort of resurgence in the genre, however. With movies like Death on the Nile, See How They Run and the upcoming Glass Onion, the sequel to Knives Out, there is a somewhat steady stream of these kinds of films. I’m not sure how long this will last, though, which is why I’m going to enjoy as many of them as possible.
This is one of the biggest reasons why I really went out of my way to watch Confess, Fletch. It’s also why I also wanted to put out a review regarding the film because I’m not really sure how many people even know it exists.
The mere fact I think hardly anyone knows this movie exists is enough reason for me to make this a SPOILER FREE review. After all, it’s a mystery film so revealing anything about the plot would be a disservice to all the amateur armchair detectives who would want to see Confess, Fletch and try to figure out whodunnit. So, yeah. SPOILER FREE review here.
Anyway, Confess, Fletch is all about I. M. Fletcher, or Fletch for short, a former “investigative journalist of some repute” as he would call himself, anyway. While investigating the theft of some valuable art, Fletch gets embroiled in a murder investigation where he becomes the primary suspect. Now, Fletch has to both try to find out who stole the art while also investigating the murder in order to clear his name.
I would say the best thing about Confess, Fletch is that it’s super entertaining because of how eccentric all the characters and suspects are. There’s the heiress who gets Fletch to investigate the art theft who seems nice but may be hiding a secret. There’s also the heiress’ stepmother who acts super saucy and wants everything handed to her on a silver platter. There’s also the hypochondriac art dealer who, obviously, wants to keep things neat and tidy. There’s the next door neighbor who seems to be oblivious to everything that’s going on around her. There are many other suspects and secondary characters but it would be hard to really list them all. They are basically caricatures of murder mystery characters you’ve seen in other films and television shows. But every actor and actress gives a really delightful and funny performances so you don’t mind them being stereotypes. Just know they all are fun to watch veryone does stand out in their own way.
But the standouts are definitely Fletch himself and the two detectives investigating the murder. Jon Hamm does a fantastic job playing Fletch as, while he does come off as stuck up and full of himself to the point of overconfidence, he does imbue the character with a lot of wit and charm. This helps making it seem believable that, despite being quite bumbling at times, he’s still seems smart enough to be competent investigative journalist of some repute. Roy Wood, Jr. and Ayden Mayeri who play Senior Inspector Monroe and Junior Detective Griz respectively also do a great job bouncing off each other as well as Jon Hamm, Fletch.
As entertaining as the characters are, the problem is there are just a little too many of them. This is usually good for a murder mystery as there are a lot of suspects to pick out from. But, with a film with a mere 98-minute runtime, this leads to a lot of the characters only having a scene or two. It’s kind of hard to build a case against any one of them when all you get are just a few minutes to examine them. I know this is generally an independent film so, budget-wise, they had to really make sure the script lean and mean had to only leave in the essential parts of the script so they can film only the important scenes. However, Confess, Fletch could have benefitted with a much more beefier runtime so they could add a few more scenes to really flesh out the characters as well as drop more clues regarding the actual crimes themselves.
Actually, that last bit regarding the lack of clues may be the biggest issue I have with Confess, Fletch. The crimes themselves is intriguing but, as someone who considers himself to be an armchair sleuth, the film just doesn’t drop enough information for the viewer to be able to solve any of them. Granted, there are a lot of twists and turns involving both of them, one of them being really cute subterfuge from the writer, but it does seem rather unfair to anyone who’s coming into the movie with the goal of actually being able to figure out what happened. Like I said, this is probably because of the limited runtime and the director wanted to focus on the wacky characters instead of making the focal point the mystery.
After watching Confess, Fletch, I do get why they decided to do this. It’s actually the characters and their insane behaviors and mannerisms that makes it totally worth watching. The story and the mystery does come off as a macguffin to show off these unique and funny caricatures of people you’ve seen in other murder mystery type shows. Armchair detectives may find Confess, Fletch to be a letdown since the mysteries are essentially unsolvable but the antics of Fletch and the rest of the cast more than makes up for it. I do wish the film was a bit longer as devoting more time to the actual crimes and giving them a little more time to drop a few substantial clues would have alleviated this problem, though.
Still, I did find myself enjoying Confess, Fletch because, while it didn’t really live up to the mystery part, it certainly aced the comedy parts. Not the most solid of thumbs ups I can give but it’s a thumbs up nonetheless.
Have you seen Confess, Fletch? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below.