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Perry Mason: The Case of the Avenging Ace
IMDB Rating: 6.9/10 from N/A votes
Release: 28 Feb 1988 /

Perry Mason: The Case of the Avenging Ace

Genre: Crime, Drama
Director: Christian I. Nyby II,
Stars: ,
Synopsis: Air Force Lt. Col. Kevin Parks was arrested and convicted for a murder of a woman and is trying to appeal for the second time when one of the first appeal lawyers, Perry, finds a new ...

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Critic Reviews

Perry Mason is on the appeal board when he has the case of Lieutenant Colonel Parks come before him. Parks was found guilty of murdering a girl called Amy Beth; Mason and the other judges find no reason for an appeal to be granted - although Mason holds other opinions about the guilty judgement that are outside of his scope of influence. Two years later, a new witness has been found that looks like it will free Parks, but the witness is forced to change his story and then is murdered after the court appearance. Mason takes over the case and prepares for the appeal while Drake hooks up with Captain Terri O'Malley to find the mystery man who he suspects of framing Parks for the murder of the witness and Amy Beth.

This film starts in a different vein from the rest of the Mason films; Mason is a judge of sorts on the appeal board and is part of the decision to turn down the appeal. This continues two years later when the film takes another turn. At this point the film gets back down to the usual formula of having Mason and Drake searching for the real killer. The first thing you need to do is get past the fact that it is very unlikely that Mason would be allowed to defend a man who's appeal he was involved in hearing - surely the DA would have seen the threat posed by Mason and would have looked to knock him out of the case? Despite this, the different opening does enough to make the film feel different from the formula and be more interesting.

The film is quite engaging but displays some quite shockingly lazy writing; worst is the moment where Drake and O'Malley go up in a helicopter to search for a car - despite not knowing where it would be or even really what it looks like they manage to find it in the woods after a 20 minute flight! Despite this, the rest of the film is to the usual standard without being quite as poor as that example. It is quite enjoyable even if it does rely on the usual sudden twist towards the end.

Burr does his usual stuff with confidence and seems to enjoy the fact that this case is a little different from some of his usual ones. He delivers some nice wit and humourous touches here. Katt is near the end of his `family' role (Dad was the original Drake, mother is Hale) but he seems full of energy here. Despite the fact that the guy he is hunting is the most unsubtle hitman in the world (really tall, red jacket, big beard) the action thread is actually quite good (and with added explosions!). Katt also has a good chemistry with his usual female sidekick - this time played by Buck Rodger's Erin Gray. Hale has little to do and the support cast aren't that memorable in their roles - this was the only downside of the film's approach: without the build up to the murder we never really get into the characters - we only see their motives later and it doesn't work as well in that regard.

Overall this is an enjoyable Mason movie that has weaknesses but has them mainly because it tries to do things a little differently. Some of the characters and writing is bad, but in Mason movies you pretty much know what to expect.

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