Fletch Lives (aKa Fletch II) is a 1989 comedy film directed by Michael Ritchie (Fletch, The Golden Child, The Island, The Couch Trip, & The Bad News Bears). It’s a sequel to 1985’s Fletch. It was written by Leon Capetanos (Summer Run, Moscow on the Hudson, The Gumball Rally, & Greased Lightning). It was produced by Alan Greisman (Fletch, Three O’Clock High, Loose Cannons, & The Bucket List). Writer Gregory McDonald had 8 prequels & sequels lined up for the next Fletch film but they went with something completely different instead for this follow up. The budget was $8 million & it grossed $39,450,960 worldwide at the box office!!!!
Fletch (played by: Chevy Chase from Fletch, Vacation franchise, Caddyshack, & SNL), a reporter for the Los Angeles Times is contacted by attorney Amanda Ray Ross (played by: Patricia Kalember from Jacob’s Ladder, Signs, The Tick, & Cat’s Eye). Ross informs Fletch he has inherited his aunt’s 80-acre plantation in Louisiana. Fletch is disappointed to find the mansion terribly dilapidated, but he agrees to keep on its caretaker Calculus Entropy (played by: Cleavon Little from Once Bitten, Cotton Comes to Harlem, Vanishing Point, & Blazing Saddles). He gets an anonymous $225,000 bid for Belle Isle. Fletch wakes up the next morning to find Ross dead after hooking up with her the night before. Fletch is charged with Ross’ murder & taken into custody. His cellmate Ben Dover (played by: Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb from Ernest Goes to Jail, Raising Arizona, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, & Blind Fury) was ready to attack him but he got saved when he was released on bail.
Lawyer Hamilton “Ham” Johnson (played by: Hal Holbrook from Creepshow, The Fog, Rituals, & Girls Nite Out) manages to get Fletch released soon after. Fletch turns down a even larger offer for his new home. Realtor Becky Culpepper (played by: Julianne Phillips from Big Bully, Skin Deep, Seven Hours to Judgment, & Sisters) & the Ku Klux Klansmen (lead by: Geoffrey Lewis from The Devil’s Rejects, Double Impact, 10 to Midnight, & Night of the Comet) start harassing him. The mansion gets burned down one night. Fletch discovers the land on Belle Isle is polluted by toxic waste. He learns the local megachurch Farnsworth Ministries lead by televangelist Jimmy Lee Farnsworth (played by: R. Lee Ermey from Full Metal Jacket, Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, Se7en, & Willard) was the one making the offers for his property. Fletch & his many disguises start investigating the church. He uncovers some serious problems with the toxic waste that puts him in danger. Can Fletch escape this mess before it gets worse????
The original Fletch was one of Chevy Chase‘s best films & characters of all time. Fletch Lives doesn’t come close to the first one but it’s still a solid sequel. They deliver most of the same things from that one here. Chevy Chase was in his prime during this production & he could do this role in his sleep. He is fantastic & it’s hilarious to see all his different disguises in Lives. The script was good & knew exactly what to do with this follow up. It’s over the top & it’s full of ridiculous moments. R. Lee Ermey & Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb are quality villains in this. Fletch really has his work cut out for him in this movie & goes through some crazy scenarios for his investigation. The supporting cast is top notch which includes Cleavon Little, Hal Holbrook, Geoffrey Lewis, Richard Libertini (Fletch), Richard Belzer(Scarface), & Phil Hartman (SNL). Fletch Lives is kinda forgotten but it definitely deserves a second chance on home video, Thanks to Universal & it’s made on demand line, it’s now available on blu ray. It’s very fun & entertaining, RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Universal! This 1080p (1.85:1) transfer is a huge improvement compared to all the older home video versions. It’s the best it’s ever looked & it’s worth the upgrade if you are a fan of the franchise. All the locations really shine here especially the broken down mansion. The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track is better than expected. It actually sounds great for a late 80’s catalog title. All the dialogue is crystal clear, Fletch’s troubles are elevated, & the music has a nice boost to it. It has English SDH subtitles. It doesn’t have any extras on it. Universal has been quietly upgrading lots of their back catalog titles to blu ray. It’s nice to see some of these older movies get more love & attention after all these years. It’s available everywhere right now including MovieZyng.com, CHECK IT OUT!!!!
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