Columbo's Numbers Are Up
Freddy Brower (Gary Kroeger) is going through a messy divorce as his soon to be former wife is trying to get 50% of everything. It is whilst visiting his wife to sort things out that Freddy discovers he has been lucky, in fact more than lucky has he's won over $30,000,000 on the lottery. Knowing that his wife would be trying to get her share Freddy visits his uncle Leon Lamarr (Rip Torn) who he trusts enough to let claim the money instead of him and then have him give him the money once the divorce is finalised. But not only does Uncle Leon have some secret money problems of his own he has sinister plans to make sure he keeps all the money for himself. So when Freddy is found murdered Lt. Columbo (Peter Falk) finds himself finding some things a little unusual about things.
There were some episodes of "Columbo" which were clever and then there were those which were funny and then you get the occasional episode such as "Columbo: Death Hits the Jackpot" which were not just funny they bordered on becoming spoof like thanks to the intentional over acting and ridiculous gags. Now personally these over the top episodes are not my thing as whilst I've always enjoyed the comedy of "Columbo" when the fact that the comedy over powers the actual solving of the crime it doesn't sit that comfortably for me.
As such whilst we have this crime involving Leon murdering Freddy over the lottery ticket the focus is more on the over the top elements which range from Columbo searching a room whilst a wake is going on to Freddy's reaction when he realises he has a winning ticket. But the biggest of all these over the top ness is the performance from Rip Torn as a shifty jeweller and in truth it is a lot of fun but it over whelms the movie and so instead of being about Peter Falk as Columbo this is all about Rip Torn.
What this all boils down to is that whilst "Columbo: Death Hits the Jackpot" is still entertaining it's intentional over the top nature and focus on the comedy is not what I enjoy "Columbo" for and sadly it means the crime solving antics take a back seat.