(Review originally written at 14 October 2008)

Out of all Columbo movie this one perhaps is the one with the most B-movie like feeling over it, at least in the movie its opening minutes in which the actual murder, like always, occurs. It makes the movie feel kind of lame and overdone with all of its usual Columbo movie ingredients. Everything, from its emotions to its humor feels completely overdone, making this one of the less great Columbo movies to watch. For some reason this movie reminded me more of a "The A-Team" episode, or anything other episode from a typical '80's series.

Not that the story is that bad. It's a story that is consistent with all other Columbo movies and it follows he usual successful formula, which made the series last for all together 5 decades. The movie actually a quite ingenious murdering plot. No big wonder, since the murder this time is being committed by a defense lawyer who has never lost a murder case in his entire career, so he should know a trick or two when it comes down to committing 'the perfect murder'. The story also has some nice twists to it, which also makes this movie to be a bit more different and original than the usual Columbo movie entry.

But there of course is no such thing as a 'perfect murder' with Lt. Columbo around. Peter Falk is great as always as the scruffy-looking homicide detective. Basically it doesn't matter if you're watching a '70's, '80's or '90's Columbo entry, Peter Falk is simply Columbo and his character hasn't changed a bit since Falk's first appearance as the most famous LAPD Lieutenant, in 1968.

Luckily the movie also gets better as it progresses and it slowly but steadily is finding back its good old form. It saves this movie from being truly among the most horrible Columbo movie entries and it actually in all honesty is still a perfectly watchable one, despite some of its weaknesses and flaws. It then however unfortunately starts to become worse an overdone again after about an hour into the movie. The movie also starts to make some odd choices with its story and it decides to throw in some more plot-lines and twists but then again decides to do nothing with it later on in the movie. For instance the movie its title is "Columbo: Columbo and the Murder of a Rock Star" and indeed the murder victim within this movie is a rock star but the movie decides to do absolutely nothing with this fact, which makes the title and whole fact that the victim is a rock star seems totally pointless. It also doesn't explain everything. Normally we as the viewers always get to see how the murderer is trying to cover up his action but not in this movie. In this movie things are just happening without explaining it, or showing how it got done. Also the movie its murderer, played by Dabney Coleman often suddenly disappears in the movie for far too long because the movie decides to take on some different angles. A Columbo movie is often driven by the interaction between the murderer and the Columbo character. In this movie this theme just doesn't get handled well enough.

Dabney Coleman plays a good role opposite Peter Falk and he is perfectly cast in the role of middle ages lawyer, that like so many successful man of 'old age', is having an affair with a much younger woman than is good for him. Unfortunately the rest of the cast doesn't really know to impress and is the reason why the movie at times is feeling a bit more B-movie like. Shera Danese, who is married to Peter Falk, also appears in this movie again. She appeared in a total of 6 different Columbo movies, in totally different roles. She unfortunately just isn't as talented as her husband is though. Little Richard also makes a small appearance in this movie as himself, which works out quite annoying and distracting for the movie though.

A watchable Columbo movie entry but not overall consistent enough to consider this movie really among the best out of the series.


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About Frank Veenstra

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