Written by: Zev Borow & Greg Mottola
Starring: Jon Hamm, Lorenza Izzo, Marcia Gay Harden, Kyle MacLachlan, Roy Wood Jr.
Literature and film have provided us with great detectives who have to encounter many mysteries that seem unsolvable but in the end, they demonstrate their brilliance at the end as they detangle this utterly complicated web and explain it to the audience. From Hercule Poirot to Columbo, and more recently the addition of Benoit Blanc. With Confess, Fletch, we get all of the intrigue that comes with uncovering this massive conspiracy but with a leading investigative individual who’s hilariously not on the level of the aforementioned men.
Irwin Fletcher (John Hamm), a now-retired journalist gets hired by the daughter of a very affluent art-collecting man to help recover some recently stolen paintings. This sends him to Boston, where he returns home and finds a dead body in his apartment where he becomes the prime suspect. Now he finds himself needing to clear his name as well as follow through on his job.
Unassumingly released and woefully underseen, Confess, Fletch comes as such a big surprise, especially not knowing much about this character. A character taken from a series of novels and previously adapted as a film starring Chevy Chase, this feature brings a level of comedy perfectly suited for John Hamm and presents someone who is trying to figure everything out just like the rest of us. He gives off this air of intelligence but in reality, he becomes just as shocked by the revelations made in this film as everyone else. It makes for such a joyous story to follow and an entertaining one at that.
With Fletch being an investigative journalist in the art world before removing himself from the scene, he’s aware of the players and he needs to take care of this job while contending with the police close on his tail regarding the murdered woman found in his apartment. It makes room for so many hilarious gaffes, which serves as a wonderful compliment to Roy Wood Jr. and Ayden Mayeri who serve as the officers trying to prove Fletch committed the crime. To be fair to them, a plethora of evidence does point in his direction. Their game of cat and mouse and, in particular, what Mayeri does creates so many humorous moments, especially the disdain that her character has for Fletch throughout the feature.
Sprinkled throughout this film are so many wonderful additions to the cast, who each have their moments to shine when they present themselves. You have Kyle MacLachlan, who portrays an art dealer that Fletch tries to use to get to the stolen paintings. John Slattery serving as a former colleague to Fletch during his work as a journalist. It certainly made for a nice Mad Men reunion. However, the women supporting actors truly came to play, which includes Mayeri mentioned previously. Annie Mumolo provides a scene with incredible absurdist humor that just completely goes haywire. Marcia Gay Harden as the Contessa brings a level of camp that knows absolutely no bounds, but Lorenza Izzo deserves some heaping praise as well. A bright Latine star who is becoming more of a presence with each role she takes on. She absolutely wowed in a leading role in Women is Losers and she delivers a wonderful supporting performance as the elusive and alluring Andy.
With all of that being said, this film belongs to John Hamm. An actor who has struggled to find a place for himself in the film world following his incredible run on Mad Men. It’s now been proven that he has found the most success taking the comedic route. Having the looks of a leading man, but using that to take on comedy-centric projects and this might be his best effort yet. He utilized his obvious good looks throughout this feature, as one would if they looked like Hamm, but also the way he reacts to everything around him in this film makes up a majority of the best comedy bits. Nothing summarizes that more than when he has his scene with Annie Mumolo. Seriously, everything in that scene was pure chaos.
Plenty of twists and turns for everyone to enjoy, the mystery at the center of this story allows each of the characters to thrive and contribute to this overall blast of a story. It brings Hamm into a space he has progressively gotten better in and will only continue to improve as he hones his craft even more. The film gives a comedic but intriguing look into the art world and all that inhabits it, seeing as these rich individuals do not value it for its beauty and meaning, but rather the monetary and societal value they hold. Not everything you see in this film can be believed and I truly hope this feature receives more attention because it’s such a little gem that deserves its audience and a fanbase. I hope they continue on with these stories much like with Benoit Blanc and the Knives Out films, as I want to see Fletch take on more mysteries and stumble upon these answers through pure happenstance.