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In recent years the character of Lt. Columbo had become a caricature of itself. He had a comical theme accompanying his every move and to everyone involved, until he solved the crime, he appeared to be an idiot. Many of the culprits were caught because of their own stupidity and inherent lack of respect for Columbo. That's not the case here, as the detective goes back to deploying real sleuthing skills. You can see from the first interaction with the opposition that Columbo is regarded as a very serious threat, even though one of the killers maintains he "has nothing". Early on, Columbo shows he means business when he asks his suspect "do you find something funny about this?". There is less interaction with the protagonists in this one, which some may find distressing, but it's only because Columbo spends most of the episode doing realistic detective work, rather than relying on the killers' stupid mistakes(there aren't any). He really pieces this one together, and the climax where he determines the location of the missing man is very good. All in all, I enjoyed a return to the more realistic Columbo of the seventies.
The "New Columbo" of the 1990s and into the 21st century have been a bit too whimsical at times but this story has much more edge to it. Columbo behaves more like an LA detective and the villains are shown to be more complex. The filming of the episode shows much more inventiveness than in recent episodes and the acting is first rate by all the cast. Falk gives an effective performance and conveys Columbo as being a little world weary - he's seen this all before but still loves his job too much. The makers of this episode have clearly tried to inject some energy into what was threatening to become a stale property. Overall, a refreshing return to form and a good finale for Columbo if this turns out to be the last ever episode.
They actually called it 'Columbo Likes the Nightlife.' He didn't seem to
enjoying it much, though. He thought the music in the rave dance clubs
too loud, and so did I. And they even had that same awful music as
background in scenes outside the clubs.
An actress has a fight with her ex-husband who was jealous of her new boyfriend, with deadly results. The boyfriend helps the survivor deal with the situation but one of the parties receives an 'I saw what you did' call. As a result of the blackmailing, the movie's murder is committed but made to look like a suicide, complete with a suicide note on a computer. Then the familiar broken-down car shows up at the murder scene with the increasingly elderly detective in his wrinkled raincoat. And he is not fooled. For those new to the 'Columbo' series of movies, the Lieutenant with no first name is very polite and appears sincerely interested in everything (usually, it turns out, because he sees a clue), but also quite obnoxious. And while he didn't appear as completely ignorant as usual to the guilty parties, he seems to know just enough to make them nervous, but he tends to be satisfied with their explanations of why things don't make sense. I have been watching these movies for about 10 years, and while there may be no reason to consider this one anything special, it did not disappoint. Unlike most murder mysteries, the audience nearly always knows who did it, but the fun is in watching the detective solve the crime.
Columbo has been going for over 30 years in some form. The dear detective must be the oldest copper in the world. He also solves all these murder cases and never gets promoted or even a raise. In some ways that is the great charm of Columbo. A new episode is really comfort TV. You basically know what you're gonna get. Any deviations from the formula have been disastrous.This particular one is fairly routine fare with a silly script. Still, the bad folks are totally obnoxious as usual and you are always glad when they get what's coming to them.Peter Falk is magnificent as always, a fantastic seriously underrated star. Nightlife is not great but Falk makes it all work fine.
I watched this with some trepidation after seeing a negative review of
movie, but was pleasantly surprised!
Lieutenant Columbo is back, his powers of observation as sharp as ever. The setting is the Los Angeles rave scene, which should be no surprise as Columbo frequently stumbles into situations where he looks like he doesn't belong.
A person disappears, blackmail is attempted, and a death occurs as a result of the blackmail. Columbo starts with the death and unweaves the whole web of complicated events. Investigating police watching Columbo look perplexed as Columbo sniffs the breath of the corpse, takes off the dead man's shoe, peels off his sock, examines his toenails, etc. But they are watching the work of a master.
Some comic relief appears as Columbo approaches a new rave club; one dancing girl gives him a glow stick, and at the club opening somebody has draped a pink boa around his neck while he stumbles about.
More comic relief appears in the form of a large-bodied Mafioso anxious to hear if Columbo is making any progress in the investigation of the missing person; the mafioso gives Columbo a business card that says "capo". And in the climax, where the LAPD "reveals" the body of the missing person, the mafioso's large body fills the club entrance as he beams at the Lieutenant.
Some Columbo scripts and plot twists (such as the Andrew Stevens - Brenda Vaccaro relationship in Murder in Malibu) have struck me as weak or plain silly, but this movie was right on, with no words wasted and no silly annoying plot twists, although it's true that Columbo does get a few lucky breaks that lead him to the solution.
Columbo is an icon in our society now.....I even saw a Japanese movie listed with "Columbo" in the title. Even the worst Columbo episodes are better than NO Columbo episodes for those of us who love Columbo! This wasn't the worst one I've ever seen....but my suggestion would be to get some of our newer hollywood/music bigwigs to sign-on to appearing as the "suspects". (who wouldn't love to see Tom Hanks in one?) If you look back at the older Columbo episodes, you'll see that many big-time and high-profile actors/actresses were the villians in many episodes of Columbo....even Johnny Cash! This really added to the shows and is something that seems to have been lost....I'd love to see people who had hit t.v. shows back in the 70's, 80's and 90's appear. I'll have to admit that back in the early 70's when I was in high school I watched faithfully and have been a big fan ever since. I hope Peter Falk is planning another episode soon.....cross your fingers fellow Columbo-philes!
I suppose the main reaction when watching this particular episode is
the fact that it is very hard to ignore Peter Falk's age. He was 75
when this edition was recorded in 2002 (broadcast in January 2003), but
he simply threw himself into his legendary role comfortably and easily.
This is a fun episode to watch! It's certainly a more 'modernised'
interpretation than previous editions, with fast directing and
electric-style music in the background during some scenes.
When Vanessa Farrow (played expertly by Jennifer Sky) accidentally kills her ex-husband, it's down to nightclub owner Justin Price (Matthew Rhys) to dispose of the body. But a surprising twist to the story will certainly keep viewers hooked! In steps our favourite Lt and the fun begins! Columbo Likes the Nightlife still contains the legendary trademarks that make the series so popular, including the "just one more thing" phrase, the talk of his wife, as well as his ageless car, but I do fear that it may be ignored by many viewers simply because of Peter's age. He may have been in his mid 70s at the time, but Lt. Columbo doesn't have to be! It's not the best by any means, but is certainly watchable.
This edition marks a satisfactory enough conclusion to a brilliant detective drama that I've had the privilege to watch every single episode of! Peter has kept millions of viewers entertained as Columbo for nearly 40 years, and the shabby Lt will sure be missed! Nevertheless, Columbo will in no doubt be adored by the masses for many many years to come! 7/10
My girlfriend and I watched the premiere of Columbo: Columbo Likes the
Nightlife tonight, and we both loved it! She got me hooked on Columbo
first met her a couple of years ago and now we both try to catch it on TV
whenever it's on... which brings me to the newest Columbo
I read that ABC tried to add youth appeal to the ongoing Columbo movies. Since I'm not a teenager or twenty-something anymore, I don't know if it was successful with those demographic groups, but for myself, it was a worthy addition to the Columbo films and kept me glued to the screen.
Kudos to director Jeffrey Reiner and writer Michael Alaimo for creating a believable and gripping story with three-dimensional characters that Columbo could play along with. If you thought recent Columbo movies were still stuck in the 70s and 80s in their style, check this one out! I'm sure it was the director's previous work as an editor that helped create the never-dull-and-always-something-worthwhile-to-watch pacing. The rave scene was a good idea for the background for this story. It contrasts nicely with Columbo's polite and conservative character traits.
And it was fun to see Steve Schirripa (who plays Bobby on the Sopranos) in a small role. I would have liked to see more of him, but that's a minor quibble.
Keep up the excellent work! I would definitely want to see the same director and writer creating future Columbo movies. As for Peter Falk, he's irreplaceable! It's great seeing him in anything.
Catch this movie on DVD if it ever comes out in this format (fingers crossed) or on TV. 9/10
Columbo at it's best. Good fun. This movie seems to be a little darker than usual in the sense that it seems to take place mostly at night. The main character(The killer), is a little weak but Falk is in usual top-form. The obviousness of every columbo script remains alive but the matter-of-fact/ness was not as evident as portrayed in the classics. Good and interesting twist in the end by solving the first murder through the process of solving the second by default. As usual, top notch with a surprise appearance by a Sopranos Regular. The only thing I particularly didn't like was the movie soundtrack. Techno to suit the movie theme, but not to suit the Columbo dynasty. I recommend it if you enjoy the masterfullness of Columbo himself.
It's fair to assume that this will be the last Columbo movie ever made,
also considering Peter Falk's current age and rapidly declining mental
health of the past few years. Falk first played the role of the cigar
smoking scruffy looking police lieutenant in 1968 in the movie
"Prescription: Murder". That means that he has played the well known
iconic character 69 times, for 5 decades. What an accomplishment for
Falk but also the series itself.
It's a common fact that the earlier Columbo movies are also the better ones. The ones that got made from the '80's on variate a lot in quality and unfortunately most of them can't be considered among the better ones out of the long running series, with still some wonderful exceptions left out.
This is without doubt the most 'modern' Columbo movie. It was obvious that Peter Falk and companions tried to bring the Columbo-series up to date, since it was never the creators intentions for this movie to be the last one. No studio however dared to make another Columbo movie, making this most likely the last one.
Even though it's more modernized than any other previous Columbo movie, it is still one that uses the usual familiar formula. Lt. Columbo does all of his usual antics and uses his good old tricks to solve the murder(s). He puts his suspects under pressure by increasingly bother them.
The story just isn't the strongest out of the series though. It's being pretty formulaic and the movie adds few new surprises. It's just nothing that hasn't been shown before in the series, despite its more modern touch added to it. It makes this a fairly average entry in the series. Guess things could had been worse but it's also neither the movie you wanted Peter Falk and the Columbo character to finish with.
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