Chevy Chase and Hal Holbrook in Fletch Lives (1989)

Fletch with the Wind

L.A. Times reporter Irwin "Fletch" Fletcher (Chevy Chase) gets contacted out of the blue by attorney Amanda Ray Ross (Patricia Kalember) who is executor for his late Aunt's will and who tells Fletch he has inherited her mansion and plantation called Belle Isle in Thibodaux, Louisiana. But when Fletch flies down he discovers the mansion is in a dilapidated state but won't sell even when he is informed that a mystery man has offered to buy Belle Isle for a lot of money. The offer raises Fletch's suspicions as who would want to buy the run down place but so does the fact that having slept with Amanda she ends up being killed. After being arrested for her murder and then getting out Fletch starts investigating who the mystery man is who wants to buy Belle Isle.

I really enjoyed "Fletch" and rate it as one of Chevy Chase's better movies as someone who is not a big Chevy Chase fan. But the sequel "Fletch Lives" whilst in truth more of the same just didn't do it for me as well, still enjoyable but almost seeming to be trying too hard. Sometimes it pulls off the big jokes, a scene featuring Fletch singing "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" as he imagines life on his mansion is a lot of fun but then the next big three jokes never quite work.

Cleavon Little in Fletch Lives (1989)

Part of the trouble with "Fletch Lives" is that the narrative offers up little; Fletch inherits a southern mansion, anonymous people want to buy it, strange things happen, Fletch investigates and has a few close calls. For me whilst the focus of "Fletch Lives" of course should be on the comedy it would have been so much better if they had come up with a storyline which didn't feel like it had been pinched from a "Scooby Doo" cartoon.

Because the narrative isn't strong enough a lot of the humour ends up feeling like set pieces which don't always work in the context of the story and are there to pad things out. Of course you won't care if you watch "Fletch Lives" because you are a big Chevy Chase fan and in fairness Chase is on fine form with plenty of ridiculous jokes and even more ridiculous costumes. And there are plenty of recognizable faces in supporting roles from Hal Holbrook to Cleavon Little who all contribute to the fun.

What this all boils down to is that "Fletch Lives" is still a fun comedy but unfortunately suffers from a weak storyline which has the knock on effect of at times making it feel like a series of set piece gags which don't always connect to the story.