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(Review originally written at 17 June 2008)

This Columbo movie is easily among the very best. It has a nice story, even better story-telling and a Dick Van Dyke in top-form, opposite Peter Falk.

Accoring to the rules of Columbo logics and standards, this shouldn't be a good Columbo movie at all. The movie, with its one and an half hour, is far longer than a regular Columbo movie and the character Columbo appears late into the story. The movie also features more humor than a regular Columbo movie and the character of Columbo himself is perhaps more looking like a bum than ever before. All things that make this movie differ from the usual Columbo movie series. Yet it is one of the Columbo movies that work out the best, due to its story, directing and Dick Van Dyke, who plays perhaps one of the best and most interesting Columbo movie 'villains'.

It's finally a Columbo movie again with a true ingenious thought out murdering plot, that of course however is not as perfect as it seems at first sight and there are still some clues left out for the good old Lieutenant. The story is being told in a good murder-mystery movie way and its hard to imaging that the same man who directed previously the Columbo movie "Columbo: Mind Over Mayhem" also directed this movie. They are two completely different movies in terms of its style and overall flow and way of storytelling. So perhaps its more thanks to the very fine script of this movie that makes this one work out so great and makes it one of the best Columbo movies to watch out there.

It's not necessarily a movie that simply feels as a made for TV Columbo movie. It's also plain and simple really good as a murder-mystery/thriller movie. The movie is also more treated that way. We see Columbo sitting around at the police station and thinking and interacting with his colleagues. It just doesn't feel like a Columbo movie who feels forced and obligated to put in certain elements and story bits to make this movie a typical Columbo movie. It's more original in its approach, which also makes this one of the more refreshing Columbo movie to watch.

What makes the movie also really work is Dick Van Dyke. Normally when I see this guy- and it doesn't ever matter what role he plays, I don't see a character, I simply see Dick Van Dyke. However not in this role and he really simply is Paul Galesko. Perhaps this also has to do with his beard or perhaps the fact that he plays a more 'villainous' character, something we haven't often seen him in during his still going on career.

An amazingly great Columbo movie.

9/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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