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(Review originally written at 7 April 2008)

The movie has a good story. It's finally a Columbo movie again with a clever thought out plot from the killer, which still of course is not waterproof enough for the good old Lieutenant though. The movie has an overall good pleasant fast pace and it doesn't waste too much time on introductions, needless characters or distracting plot-lines. It makes the movie to be over before you know it. It's with its 70 minutes also one of the shorter Columbo movies.

Credit really needs to go to director Jeremy Kagan, who at the time was still very inexperienced but this really doesn't show on screen. He provides the movie with lots of pace and also lots of style. It's really no static Columbo movie. Also the always present comical relief of the movie works out good this time and the movie has some amusing moments in it, of course mostly involving the Columbo character. Also the Richard DeBenedictis musical score works out fine for this movie.

The movie could had perhaps used some more interaction between Columbo and his main suspect played by Robert Culp. It makes the movie look as if Columbo solves the mystery out of nowhere without really digging and gaining the trust from the main suspect by playing dumb, which is the normal Columbo routine. This is all a direct result from the fact that the movie is a rather short one.

It makes the movie towards its ending seem rather weak and perhaps even a bit out of context with the rest of the movie. The movie also starts to loose some of its good pace as it tries too hard to reach its conclusion as fast as possible. It also makes the movie seem rather childish and simple with its clues and coincidences at times.

Peter Falk is as good as ever as Lt. Columbo. The movie also stars Robert Culp in his second Columbo movie, again as the killer. He would later even star in two more Columbo movies. He again was really good in his role and really the right guy for the part.

A movie that started of with potential but in the long run remains nothing more than one of the average Columbo, that are still of high quality.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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