Since the release of the original FLETCH in 1985, star Chevy Chase and director Michael Ritchie have had four years to get a running start on this sequel, which starts out with promising energy, then stumbles. Fletcher (Chase), an LA investigative reporter originally created by novelist Gregory McDonald, heads for Louisiana after he inherits his aunt's dilapidated antebellum mansion. Amanda Ray Ross (Patricia Kalember), the sexy lawyer handling the estate probate, is killed by a mysterious intruder while in Fletch's bed, and he's the main suspect. He launches his own investigation, during which he trots out a number of mocking, local-yokel disguises, meanwhile pursuing real estate broker Becky Ann Culpepper (Julianne Phillips), wading through toxic waste that's pouring into his estate, and turning up a crooked televangelist (Lee Ermey). In addition, his mansion is torched, and when some locals try to cheer him up by taking him on a nocturnal coon hunt, he is nearly blown away. Not unlike the clunker Cadillac Chase inherits along with his rundown estate, the comedy of FLETCH LIVES seems to be fueled by cheap, high-knocking gasoline. Chase delivers a one-note performance, consisting mainly of predictable comebacks and salacious leers, while the characters who become the targets of his witty rejoinders are weak and silly stereotypes. FLETCH LIVES is a custom-built Chevy Chase vehicle throughout; the other performers are only along for the ride.