I watched this three months after Confess, Fletch ↗ and am shocked to discover that I like the original more! Shocked is perhaps overkill — mildly surprised, perhaps, because I am such a sucker for Jon Hamm compared to Chevy Chase and because it kicked off what felt like a three-month microrenaissance in "light, breezy murder mystery."
This movie had a self-assured nature and agency that I think the reboot lacked. Chase's quips felt lighter and more in keeping with the tone of the film; it was able to take advantage of (and subvert to great comedic effect) the trappings and narrative arc of a more traditional detective film, whereas Jon Hamm's vehicle felt a little like being shuttled from mid-budget silly setpiece to mid-budget silly setpiece. The supporting cast (Otter! Norm!) was just the right level of competent, and I was actually pretty well-drawn into the central mystery.
Perhaps that last point is what really turned the scales for me: Confess, Fletch never really felt like a serious mystery in any sense, and it was mostly hanging out with some folks who were funny. This movie feels like a bonafide (if not generic) mystery, and your lead detective is, well, Chevy Chase. It's a more digestible value proposition.