(Review originally written at 6 August 2008)

I really like Patrick McGoohan's most other directed Columbo movies really much, since his directing style certainly give the movies something extra. However he went too far with this movie. The directing and story-telling in general is different from the usual Columbo movie formula. It's a real slow moving movie, in which the killer himself also isn't known to the viewers this time, until of course the very ending. It's obvious they wanted to try something different for the Columbo series, as they tried numerous times before and after this movie as well. Funny though that they always went back to the usual Columbo style we all are so accustomed to.

Really problem with this movie is its pacing. It's annoyingly slow. Sequences seem to go on for ever without getting to its point. It really makes you wonder why the movie wasn't provided with any more pace. At one point Lt. Columbo goes into a trance. The actual movie itself also really feels like it goes into a trance though. It really doesn't make this movie a pleasant one to watch. It's not like the story is anything too bad, or the approach of not revealing who the killer is, or how the murder was committed, until the very end, is a bad one but it just doesn't work out with this type of directing approach as got picked by Patrick McGoohan, who is probably also better known and respected as an actor than a director really.

One thing McGoohan still does right though is the movie its humor. He is one of those directors who understood the Columbo character well and knew how to throw in the right kind of relieving humor, involving the character. Though being a close personal friend of Peter Falk, he probably gave him a bit too much room though to do his comedy thing, since he definitely goes a bit over-the-top with it at times. Oh well, at least he still probably had lots of fun with it.

Poor Robert Vaughn. He's a great actor but the Columbo movies he has starred in just aren't among the greatest. He deserved better, also since he seems really like an actor who is the right guy for playing these type of roles in these types of movies.

Tiresome off-boat Columbo entry. It has a good typical Columbo ending though.


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About Frank Veenstra

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