Chevy Chase is perfectly suited to playing a smirking, wisecracking, multiple-identitied reporter in Fletch Lives.
Ridiculous and anecdotal plot that transports Chase from his beloved LA base to Louisiana’s bayou country to take over his dead aunt’s crumbling plantation works for the simple reason that Chase’s sly, glib persona is in sync with Michael Ritchie’s equally breezy direction.
From Gregory McDonald’s popular novel, script works out an excessive and cliche-ridden portrait of a Southern, insular town. Dimwits abound as if inbreeding has been going on since the days of slavery.
The night Chase arrives, he beds the sexy executor/lawyer of his aunt’s estate (Patricia Kalember as a convincing belle), who is then murdered while they’re slumbering.
Chase tracks the murderer through some inane sequences as only he could do. Film’s saving grace is its scathing satirical sketches of fictional televangelist preacher Jimmy Lee Farnsworth.