Fletch Lives (Special Edition) Blu-ray Review: A Subpar Sequel

Four years after the success of Fletch, Chevy Chase returned as journalist I. M. Fletcher in Fletch Lives. Rather than adapting another of Gregory Mcdonald’s Fletch novels, the script is credited to Leon Capetanos in what IMDb lists as his last screenwriting credit. Unmoored from a well-written mystery, the story doesn’t make a great deal of sense and there’s not enough laughs to compensate.

Buy Fletch Lives (Special Edition) Blu-ray

Fletch’s Aunt Belle has died and she made him the beneficiary of her estate, which includes 80 acres of land in Louisiana. The house is run down, even though caretaker Calculus Entropy (Cleavon Little) works there. Fletch learns from Belle’s attorney Amanda Ray Ross (Patricia Kalember) that Belle changed the will three weeks before she died. In addition, a generous yet anonymous offer has been made. After spending the night together, Fletch discovers Amanda died in the morning. Police arrest him because of his flippant attitude but local attorney Hamilton Johnson (Hal Holbrook) gets him released.

Fletch learns Belle had previously left her property to Rev. Farnsworth (R. Lee Emery), whose ministry includes a hotel, a theme park, and other assorted businesses. Realtor Becky Culpepper (Julianne Phillips) also has an anonymous offer for even more money. Fletch declines and the harassment continues including arson and the Klan, the latter features a funny scene where Fletch infiltrates them as.

The writing is where the movie stumbles. Fletch continues to unravel the mystery, yet once revealed, it’s not fully clear what the villain intended. His desire for revenge is understandable but he seems to contradict what he has been up to, both wanting Belle Isle yet also intentionally damaging it. Not only is the plot bad, there’s not as much comedy either. None of Fletch’s disguises and characters are as interesting as the previous movie, and his barbs aren’t as funny, in part because he plays off Southern caricatures rather than characters.

The video has been given a 1080p/ MPEG-4 AVC displayed in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1.
Sourced from an exclusive new 2K master that was struck from an interpositive, the image is clean, free from dirt or defect, and exhibits film grain. Colors appear in solid hues. Blacks are inky and free from crush.

The audio is available in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. Dialogue sounds clear. On both tracks, ambiance effects can be heard. Vehicles can be heard passing across front channels. Composer Harold Faltermeyer’s synth score strikes a good balance in the mix.

The Special Features are:

  • Commentary – a new audio commentary by critics Bryan Reesman and Max Evry. It’s informative and expansive but some times they read their notes too quickly.
  • Fletch Lives (7 min)A making-of about Fletch Lives with interviews of Chase, Phillips, and director Michael Ritchie.
  • Fletch Lives: Chevy Chase Profile(3 min)Chase talks about his favorite subject: himself.
  • Fletch Lives: Julianne Phillips Profile(2 min) Phillips talks about her character.
  • Trailers for the Fletch films and other Kino Lorber Studio Classics titles
  • TV Spots

Unfortunately, Chevy Chase and director Michael Ritchie aren’t able to recreate the success of the first Fletch, and as a result, the sequel pales in comparison. If it has its fans, the Blu-ray offers a satisfactory upgrade to high definition and a commentary track about the making of the movie that is more interesting than the movie.

Posted in , ,

Gordon S. Miller

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of this site. "I'm making this up as I go" - Indiana Jones

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Search & Filter