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(Review originally written at 18 March 2008)

This is the only actual Colubmo movie fully directed by Peter Falk himself. It's pretty much a Columbo movie by the numbers, that features all of the usual ingredients and way things are constructed.

The movie begins just as a missing person case but of course Columbo soon starts to learn that there has happened more, especially when the missing person's car gets found and he begins investigation in his own typical distinctive manner of playing dumb and annoy his suspects.

But like I said before, it's a pretty formulaic and standard made Columbo movie. Peter Falk's directing is good but it just ain't anything special. The best Columbo movies are something special because of their daring directing and approach. This movie just isn't an example of this. Peter Falk might also not had been completely satisfied with his work, since he never directed a movie again, till this very day.

The movie might also be a bit too slow moving for my taste. The movie could had used some more interaction between Lt. Columbo and the murderer, played by Patrick O'Neal. Perhaps Peter Falk was also standing behind the camera for this one, his character is maybe not as prominently featured on screen as is the case in most other Columbo movies. It takes a while for things to take shape and for Columbo to focus on his main suspect. It's just not as well and solidly constructed as most other Columbo movies.

Luckily the movie gets better as it heads toward the ending. It features a great build up ending, that begins about 15 minutes before the end credits role, when Columbo starts to dig for the body at a construction site. Things get tense, since also we as the viewers have no idea were the body is this time and also Columbo starts to question himself whether or not he is on the right track with this one (or perhaps isn't he?).

Nothing bad but it overall is just a bit too standard to consider this one of the better Columbo movies, despite its great finale.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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