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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Fletch (1985) (2016 Reissue)


Starring: Chevy Chase, Joe Don Baker, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Richard Libertini, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Tim Matheson
Distributor: Distributor: Fabulous Films Ltd / Fremantle Media Enterprises
RRP: £19.99

Certificate: PG
Release Date: 25 April 2016

Irwin Fletcher, better known as Fletch, is an undercover reporter working his local beach trying to get a scoop on the local drug trade. Disguised as a junkie he is approached by Alan Stanwyk who makes him an offer. Stanwyk has terminal cancer and is unwilling to die in pain, so he hires the disguised Fletch to kill him. Fletch takes the commission because he is suspicious of Stanwyk and promptly drops his drugs story to investigate the man who just hired him...

Fletch (1985. 1 hr, 38 min, 13 sec) is a comedy film, directed by Michael Ritchie. The Andrew Bergman screenplay was based on the popular series of novels by Gregory McDonald. The film stared Chevy Chase and was nominated for one award.

The film allowed Chase to engage in dressing up, as he plays various characters. I was never really a great fan of Chase’s cynical view of the world or his repetitious delivery so when viewing a film which should be about a character what you really get is Chase being Chase. Now, this is great if you’re a fan of Chase, if you were looking for a separate character presented by an actor, then your less in luck. It’s not the fault of Chase as it is often the case that when comedians are asked to play in a movie they essentially play their comedic persona.

Ritchie does what he can to overcome Chase's limitations, presenting a series of interesting characters for him to interact with, the problem is that Chase tends to dominate these scenes creating an over homogeneity to the encounters.

Although the film is presented on Blu-ray, there is noticeable grain, probably from the original film stock, but it is more noticeable than in other films from the same era. There are also issues with the overall technical presentation which detracts at points and pulls you out of the film. The problems continue with the English DTS HD 5.1 audio track which suffers from clarity issues at times. You do get the options for English, Spanish and French subs.

You get one substantial extra, Just Charge it to the Underhills: Making and Remembering Fletch (26 min, 34 sec) is a relatively decent ‘making of’. From John Cocktoastin to Harry S. Truman: The disguises (4 min, 54) is a short piece about Chevy’s disguises and Favourite Fletch Moments (2 min, 37 sec). Lastly you get the Trailer (1 min, 32 sec).

Regardless of how you feel about Chase as a comedian this is not a great presentation of the film. Certainly it is better than the previous DVD release, but that is not a great recommendation.


Charles Packer

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