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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Solid entry in the series that fans will enjoy

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
25 January 2003

When Perry is unable to deliver a speech at a conference he calls Bill McKenzie to offer him a hotel etc in exchange for delivering the work. Also at the hotel is filming for the newest episode of `lifestyles of the rich and famous' hosted by Adrian Lye. One of Lye's guests, and Bill's friend, Daniel Kingman (a famous chess player) is at the hotel and is being blackmailed by Lye. When he goes to Lye's room a fight ensues after which Lye is found poisoned to death. Bill defends Kingman while Ken Malansky goes after the `waiter' seen delivering the poisoned drink to Lye's suite, assuming the drink was poisoned before delivery and not by Kingman.

And so the franchise goes on. Keen to continually outgrown the sizeable shadow of Mason, the film opens with McKenzie being very un-Mason-like, speeding to a courtroom on his motorbike and delivering evidence of corruption to a judge to save a man's life. Several times later, other characters refer to tales of Bill's past including killing a man in Paris and walking into a hostage situation with a live grenade and rescuing the hostages. All this serves to take away from the film a bit, but it does help make the film stand out in it's own right rather than always looking back. The plot is OK and is the usual Mason fare. Both sides of the investigation are enjoyable, although Malansky's sidekick element has only ever worked well once or twice and doesn't here. The courtroom scenes lack Mason's presence and the final scene especially doesn't suit McKenzie's laid back approach.

However Holbrook is good and is the only reason that these films are still watchable after Burr left a big hole to fill. His character is good and the only weakness is the way in which they always have to rope him and Mason into the story in some way. Hale does nothing and is only the link to the original. Moses is OK and has his usual comedy/action side to the story. The support cast are pretty average for this sort of thing with the `oh look it's ….' Face this time being Robert `Freddie' Englund.

Overall those new to the series or those who have disliked the series will be very unlikely to be won over here, however fans of the series who know what to expect and like it will find this to be a reasonable entry in the series – even if it does pale a little when viewed with Burr's best in mind.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Pretty good for a case without Mason!!

Author: selwitelsd from USA
3 July 2002

This is a really well done film! The plot storyline was well done and fine acting by Holbrook, Hale, and Moses as well as the guest cast!MacKenzie and Malansky try to solve the murder of a movie star, and Malansky finds himself in serious danger a few times. Good thing "Wild Bill" MacKenzie arrives to bail him out twice! Whew!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Lethal Lifestyle Doesn't Need to Be Flamboyant ***

7/10
Author: edwagreen from United States
20 October 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Hal Holbrook has always been a wonderful actor but we don't need a flamboyant Perry Mason. Raymond Burr was so good at the part as he made you feel that he was a real attorney. Holbrook does not. Even his name Wild Bill immediately suggests a western dude who dabbles in the law.

The story line is good here. As always, there is someone who wants to make money off of wealthy individuals.

James Stephens is wonderful as the chess champ wrongly accused of the murder of a television fiend.

Diahann Carroll is memorable as a drug addicted actress attempting a comeback and Dixie Carter is marvelous as a basketball owner keeping her husband under wraps so that she can continue a clandestine love affair and run his enterprises.

William R. Moses proves once more that he is physically and mentally up to the part of Ken Malansky. He has the part down to a science, a good-looking, intelligent attorney ready to involve himself with the chicks.

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