BallsofSteelandFury: We’re back! Some of you may say, “Like herpes!” and you’re only partially correct.
This time, we are tackling a film that, truthfully, should have won an Oscar. Nay, a Nobel.
TWBS: Aren’t you overselling it?
Balls: No, shut up.
TWBS: Aren’t you worried we’re going to lose them?
Balls: This is our third installment. If they’re still reading, we’re in. Like vampires.
TWBS: That makes no sense.
Balls: Same as a lot of what Chevy Chase does and says in this movie. And that’s the point.
TWBS: Huh? Dude, I’M the one that’s usually high!
Balls: Pup N Taco.
Balls: Now, let’s get one thing straight here. I’m Fletch and you’re Larry.
TWBS: What?!? Fuck no! I’m Fletch!
Balls: I’m Fletch!
TWBS: I’m Fletch!
Balls: Ok, as we move through the film, we can make a case for ourselves and we’ll let the commentists decide.
TWBS: Ok, fine. We start out with a shot of the beach in LA.
Balls: That’s right next to the old Santa Monica pier, btw. Before the renovations.
TWBS: Thank you, Mr. LA Geography. You forget I was just there mere months ago. And are you going to do this throughout?
TWBS: I’m sure that’s not going to get annoying at all.
Balls: Love your body, Larry!
TWBS: Yeah, yeah. Something something I’d never leave the house something something. But just don’t ask me to scratch your back. Anywhooooo….. We see the usual drug scum and riff raff on the beach.
Balls: Similar to mere months ago when you were there, huh?
TWBS: Well that’s just mean. Also yes, I might have “partaken” in that vicinity a time or two. But anywhoooo…. Quickly enough we learn, via first person narration from Fletch himself, that he’s an investigative reporter who’s hanging around trying to pass for a junkie in order to get a story regarding the problem of drug traffic on the beach.
TWBS: Not this time. That’s Fat Sam. But we’ll come back to him. Right now, it’s about Stanwyk. Remember how often I’ve told you I don’t believe in certain types of “coincidences”…?
Balls: Indeed. And neither does Fletch. So when Stanwyk intercepts him and offers him $1000 cash just to hear his proposition, Fletch’s antenna immediately goes up.
TWBS: Right. That’s why I’m Fletch. That’s Tim Matheson playing Stanwyk, btw. Same guy who played Otter in Animal House. He’s not exactly funny in this one, though.
Balls: No he is not. And we soon learn what his proposition is. He explains to Fletch he’s dying of bone cancer, doesn’t want to go through the pain of it, but his life insurance won’t pay out for suicide. So in return for $50K in cash, the guarantee he won’t get caught, and a plane ticket out the country to Rio… He asks Fletch to return in a few days, and murder him.
TWBS: At least he didn’t ask him to dress up as Little Bo Peep. But like any good investigative reporter who has a hunch, he starts doing some digging.
Balls: Which doesn’t always go exactly as he’d hoped, I might add.
TWBS: True. Also, I’m impressed that you avoided making a “doing some digging” joke there.
Balls: It wasn’t easy. But after his prostate check, he manages to pass himself off as Dr. Rosenpenis.
TWBS: Dr who?
Balls: Dr. Rosenrosen.
TWBS: OK, I have to admit that’s a point in your favor of being Fletch. I can totally see you doing that.
Balls: Hell, I’d do that just for fun. And he manages to find the records room, and also dodge Dr. Jellyfinger again, and satisfy himself that Stanwyk does not in fact, have cancer.
TWBS: Right, so it’s off to the tennis club. Another point in your favor, I might add.
Balls: How so?
TWBS: Only that I can totally see you dressing up in your little white outfit and invading the tennis club. And also you then getting distracted by how hot Stanwyk’s wife is. Although I did enjoy him screwing over Underhill, so maybe that’s partly me in this one.
Balls: Hey, as far as you know I’ve never been involved with anyone’s wife.
Balls: No, never never. Besides, you’d have just blown your cover by yelling at Underhill and calling him a dick, or maybe just beating him with the tennis racquet.
TWBS: You have a point.
Balls: Right? And now it’s time to investigate the Provo angle. Enter Mr. Poon.
TWBS: Not the first time you’ve said that, I bet.
Balls: Nope. But after a quick trip to Utah (I have fond memories of Western Airlines, btw)…
TWBS: Wait! You’re not seriously skipping over the dream sequence?!?
Balls: I thought it would be too LA-centric for you.
TWBS: Doesn’t matter. It has the great Chick Hearn in it.
Balls: Ok. So, after a day of undercover investigating, Fletch gets back home, sees the OldsmoBuick of his ex-wife’s attorney, and decides to go in the back way. SO me, btw.
TWBS: You know…
Balls: Except the lawyer figured he would do that and was waiting on the lanai. After dealing with him, humorously, it’s finally time for some rest…
Balls: I’ve quoted that scene so many times… The guy playing his ex-wife’s lawyer is great. Total weasel. I love how Fletch tells him to do embarrassing things when he is giving him his alimony money.
TWBS: That would be you, definitely.
Balls: Hey, I’m the asshole that writes “Great anal sex. Thanks babe!” on the memo line of checks when paying off debts to my friends. Ok, the next day, Fletch continues the investigation and engages in a battle of wits with the doberman guarding the most “security laden” real estate office of the 80s. Fletch later returns home to LA to find that his efforts have not gone unnoticed. And, by the way, did you catch the Vacation reference in the Utah scene?
TWBS: Of course! Do you think they got it?
Balls: I’m thinking no. Anyway, as I was saying, Fletch’s efforts, unfortunately, have not gone unnoticed…and not in a good way.
TWBS: Hey, that’s…and that’s…
Balls: Please don’t.
TWBS: *sigh* Fiiiiine. But soon enough, Fletch learns that Chief Karlin knows exactly who he his and all about the story he’s about to print because his editor is a dumbass. Yet being the smartass he is…
Balls: Honestly, that could be both of us.
TWBS: *Ahem* ….being the smartass I AM , Fletch can’t just leave without running his mouth and quickly ends up in a jail cell with Joe Don Baker…. errrrrrr Karlin about to put a bullet in his noggin.
Balls: Yeah, running your mouth and ending up in trouble, that’s you. At which point he learns how to play nice.
TWBS: At least for the moment.
Balls: Yes, only for the moment. But he damn sure doesn’t go back to the beach right away. He still wants to figure out the Stanwyk thing. So he does what anyone would do. He buys some novelty teeth and heads to Boyd Aviation to nose around Stanwyk’s plane for awhile…
TWBS: Burns enough fuel to get to South American and back.
Balls: Is that right?
TWBS: Yes. That’s interesting, isn’t it?
Balls: Yes, very.
TWBS: But now, being both curious and a horndog… and also a little hungry …you’re going back to the club. I mean, Fletch is…
…and before he
bangs her leaves he ends up telling Gail everything. He actually trusts her enough to tell her his suspicions about what bad guy her husband is.
Balls: See now that’s totally you. The trusting part, not the banging. You’d feel guilty and wouldn’t go through with it.
TWBS (seething): …. and you would?
Balls: Only with wet married women. But now it’s time for the gold standard 80s police chase because after tailing Stanwyk for a few minutes and seeing something he shouldn’t have, he returns home and happens to spot cops in the garage waiting for him, and he gets the hell outta there in my favorite chase scene ever…
TWBS: You call that a standard police chase?
Balls: Gold standard. You don’t know how many times I’ve said, “A little slipstreaming and hey there’s Fred!” Btw, the bulk of the chase took place in Long Beach at the beginning/end of the 710 and the magic of moviemaking gets them to downtown LA/Koreatown.
TWBS: Don’t care.
Balls: Shut up, Cutler. At least The Dorf’s little ceremony got a kick in the pants…
TWBS: And next Fletch finds out that it isn’t his name on the ticket to Rio…
Balls: Doesn’t mean I want her sitting next to me. Back to Utah!!!!!
TWBS: Where among other things, he meets Stanwyk’s parents.
Balls: Lovely people.
TWBS: Yes, lovely people. They appear to likely smell good too. But we learn that Stanwyk has been lying to just about everyone at this point. Sally Ann Cavanaugh is his wife there.
Balls: Cute as a button! Also, it IS Utah.
Balls: And then, once he’s figured out what’s really going on, he returns to the beach.
TWBS: Of course he does. Half a point for each of us.
Balls: True enough. And his roller skating return trip to the beach in disguise does get both Gummy and Fat Sam to talk to him, and he puts them into protection at the offices of the newspaper after learning for sure that the Chief is running the operation and they’re both pawns in it. Big shock. But there’s still Stanwyk to be dealt with.
TWBS: Yeah, I’d like a piece of that guy. BTW, remember that likely unnoticed line earlier in Cabana #1, when Fletch was trying to dodge Underhill, and Gail told him she thought he was about the same size as her husband and gave him one of Stanwyk’s suits?
Balls: From the waist up, I imagine.
TWBS: Well, he puts on Stanwyk’s suit and heads to the Stanwyk mansion.
Balls: And arrives to see Stanwyk dressed like him.
TWBS: And Stanwyk notices it’s HIS suit.
Balls: Awkward! Suffice to say that Fletch had figured everything out and thinks he’s got Stanwyk cornered. Gail shows up to rub salt into Stanwyk’s wounds and confirm she banged Fletch.
TWBS: Which, ouch, but considering he has A WIFE she didn’t know about…
Balls: Yeah, I don’t feel bad about banging her.
TWBS: You never did.
Balls: True, I never felt bad. Anyway, the plan goes awry as Stanwyk smartly points out that he was willing to kill one person, why not two?
Balls: Indeed. Luckily, the police show up! Only it’s Chief Karlin. Fletch gets them to go against each other and there’s shots and there’s fire and there’s a Clint Eastwood reference and at the end of the day Gail and Fletch are safe in each other’s arms, the Chief is in jail, and Alan Stanwyk is extremely sleepy.
TWBS: Otherwise known as dead.
Balls: And so we have a happy ending in Rio. Fletch gets the girl and we see them walking along the beach into the proverbial sunset together, as he continues to try to teach her about basketball, even though she still hates it. Which proves once and for all that I’m Fletch.
TWBS: How do you figure?
Balls: Have you ever been to Rio?
TWBS: No, but…
Balls: Case closed, Larry! Get back to the research room, Peasant!!!! And now all that remains is for us to give the final double high snaps Rio-style.
TWBS: I hate you.
Balls: See you next time…
AT THE MOVIES!!!!