A powerful coda to what many considered the best show on TV recalls Homicide at its best: prickly character tensions, sour office politics, raging emotions, and the camaraderie of the squad room. In Homicide, the Movie tha... more »t squad room becomes unusually crowded when the entire cast, past and present, converges to hunt for the gunman who shot beloved former shift commander Al Giordello (Yaphet Kotto), now a controversial Baltimore mayoral candidate. The class reunion could have easily turned into a gimmicky series of cameos, and with such a sprawling cast many familiar faces are indeed little more than walk-ons, but the fiercely intelligent script anchors the investigation in the even more anticipated reunion of the tetchy, intense retired detective Frank Pembleton (Andre Braugher) and his former partner, Tim Bayliss (Kyle Secor). Never quite friends yet intimately trusted partners, the relationship of the most compelling duo in the show's history is pushed to the brink as the morally sure Pembleton digs around the guilt that haunts Bayliss in a devastating climax. All the hallmarks of the show are here--the vivid location shooting, the nervous you-are-there camerawork, the effective use of popular music--and the episode comes full circle in a lovely coda in which even the deceased make their appearances. It's an uncompromising piece of American television and a moving end to a great series. --Sean Axmaker« less
"Considering how many actors had regular or semi-regular roles during "Homicide's" seven-year run on NBC, one could be forgiven for thinking that the most remarkable thing about this TV movie is that all of the regulars (and many of the semi-regulars) were back for what is probably the final go-round. And while that is probably a record for such reunions, it should not obscure the fact that this program (also known as "Homicide: Life Everlasting") tells a pretty good story in its own right.In this case, I am not referring to the plot-line of the homicide squad's former commander, Al Giardello, being shot and the past and present members of his squad banding together to find the shooter. While that plot-line provides a credible reason for reuniting the team and gives viewers a final chance to revel in the way that "Homicide" emphasized the deductive skill of its detectives over their abilities with firearms, it's simply a means to an end. More often than not, the heart of "Homicide's" stories was the people behind the badges more so than the crimes they investigated.Giardello's shooting is a cause for anger for some and reflection for others. In the case of Detective Bayliss, the reunion with his former partner Frank Pembleton (played by Emmy-winner Andre Braugher) and uncovering the mystery behind the shooting forces him to confront notions of right and justice which had been haunting him for months. This actually provides the movie's most dramatic scene, in the form of a powerful confrontation between Bayliss and Pembleton which almost certainly changes one man's life forever.As for the other detectives, as some have observed, they don't really get a whole lot to do in the course of the film beyond eliminating various "red herrings" which allow Bayliss and Pembleton to get to the heart of the case. Here again, the investigation of crime is somewhat beside the point and secondary to the joy of seeing beloved (and in a couple cases hated) characters together again. In addition to the long-running partnership between Bayliss and Pembleton, we also get to see Richard Belzer and Ned Beatty as Munch and Bolander, still agreeing to disagree at nearly every turn. Of the original squad, only detectives Lewis and Howard are not reunited with their former partners, those detectives having been killed during the run of the show. That said, both of those characters, Steve Crosetti and Beau Felton, do make an appearance in what is probably the movie's most heartfelt scene.Whether one is a long-time fan or someone new to "Homicide," the end result of watching this movie will most likely be an attempt to track down either re-runs (currently on Court TV) or other video releases from the series (of which there are few available). Even at its worst, "Homicide" was always worth watching, and at its best it was simply marvelous. This film is arguably not the very best episode of the program's run, but it is certainly an excellent reminder of how good television can be when a talented group of creative artists come together with the intention to make something really good."
M. Mallio | Winchester, MA United States | 07/14/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This proved to be a worthy, if not tragic, ending for what diehard fans called "The Best D**n Show on Television." Being one of those fans, I was torn. On the one hand, I honestly felt "Homicide" didn't need a wrap-up movie. The ending of the televsion series, I thought, was about as satisfying as we fans were going to get under the circumstances.On the other hand, well, it was my favorite show, for cryin' out loud! I wanted to see how the creators would put it to rest.
BTW, for those of you who didn't keep up with the televion series, this is NOT the DVD to start with! Start with "Seasons I and II" and work your way up! Back to the review: The storyline is as follows: Al Giardello, former Homicide Unit L-T, is now running for Mayor of Charm City (On, if you can believe it, a drug legalization platform) and has a very impressive lead, that is until he's gunned down while giving a speech. All cast members are reunited as they struggle to investigate the shooting of their beloved "Gee" as he lies in intensive care. At times, the writing is only mediocre and there are moments when the movie seemed preoccupied with giving every single reunited cast member a line or a scene. Nonetheless, the shocking and sad ending was worth every minute and has some incredible acting from Kyle Secor and Andre Braugher. I wouldn't want to give anything away save this: the writers don't take the usual route and certainly do not wrap everything up with a "happily ever after" ending. And, looking back on the series, it makes all the sense in the world."
Homicide: Life Everlasting
Erin E Cummins | Maryland United States | 04/02/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Homicide: Life Everlasting was the perfect way to wrap-up the show which lasted for 7 seasons on NBC. This two-hour movie originally aired during the month of February of 2000, reunites new and old member of the cast...some more than others in a very clever and subtle way.The basic plot of the movie goes like this: Former Lt. Al Giardello of the Homicide Unit is running as a mayoral candidate for the city of Baltimore(or as pronounced in the actual city Bawlmer). Gee is shot while giving a speech at the Inner Harbor. He is rushed to the hospital and enroute to the hospital scenes are cut back and forth between each former or current Detective of the Homicide Unit who are informed of the incident including Andre Braugher(Det. Frank Pembleton)who has given up being a cop to teach and Kyle Secor(Det. Tim Bayliss)who had taken a leave-of-absence from the unit at the end of the series. Other former members of the squad making appearances in the movie are Reed Diamond(Det. Mike Kellerman - now a P.I.),Melissa Leo(Sgt. Kay Howard), Richard Belzer(Det. John Munch), Clark Johnson(Det. Meldrick Lewis), Isabella Hoffman(Megan Russert), and Max Perlich(J.H. Brodie). Gee's son Mike Giardello also appears in the movie as a beat(street)cop after he left the FBI at the close of the series.This movie is a must see for die-hard fans of the show longing to see former cast members that actually made the show great. And to leave you on an intriguing and interesting note: The ending is a complete SHOCKER!!! Don't miss out on getting this movie for anything in the world. It's the perfect thing for any die-hard Homicide fan and a movie no Homicide fan should be without."
snarkygirl | UK | 03/17/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Whilst the final episode of the seventh season of Homicide: Life on the Street bookended the show - starting and ending in the same place - loose ends, or rather one very long loose end, was left dangling.Homicide: The Movie picks up some months after the show ended and it's all change. Al Giadello want to be the Mayor of Baltimore, Gharty is the new shift commander, Bayliss uncertain of his future, is on a sabbatical. It's not giving away much to say that Gee gets shot and squad members past and present return to catch the shooter.After the disaster of Season 7, the prospect of former cast members of the calibre of Andre Braugher, Ned Beatty and Melissa Leo was more than welcome. Sadly squeezing in so many past characters leaves many with little to do, whilst the main (and rather thin) plotline of Gee's shooting is just an excuse to get Braugher and the excellent Kyle Secor back on screen together. Not that that's a bad thing.Watching familiar faces and listening to the long missed banter of the detectives reinforced the view that Homicide was strangely overshadowed by inferior, and less intelligent shows like NYPD Blue, and that it never quite got the credit it deserved."
Uneven, but Satisyfing Coda for a Seminal Series.
Alan Koslowski | Seattle, WA | 01/16/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If ever a series deserved a posthumous made-for-TV movie, it's Homicide. The original series was cancelled in 1999, only a few weeks notice before season's end. Consequently, the series finale was admittedly hurried, disjointed, and inconclusive. One of the greatest series ever deserved a more punctuated conclusion. To this end, Homicide's creative team managed to convince NBC to let them make "Homicide: The Movie".The premise of "Homicide: The Movie" is ingenious (for those who don't know): Lt. Giardello ("Gee" for short) is the controversial frontrunner in the Baltimore mayoral race, whose principle issue is the decriminalization of drugs. During a campaign stop he is shot (but not killed) by an unknown assailant. Subsequently, every regular character from the series (and I mean everyone) returns to investigate the crime and visit Gee. [This premise is so good, it's frustrating as a fan. If NBC had given the show one more season (and let them know it would be the last) there could've been some intriguing episodes leading to the campaign.]In a sense it's nice to see every regular character back one last time, but it also creates a dilemma: overcrowding. With so many characters (more than 20) the story is spread thinly over it's 90 min. duration. There are many pointless, uninteresting scenes, which only serve to give some members of the bloated cast face time: Shepherd and Ballard repeatedly view videotape of the shooting for leads; Mike Giardello and Kellerman roust everyone who might carry a grudge; Med. Examiners discuss emergency advancements at Gee's hospital bed. These aren't limited examples, about half of all the film's scenes are disposable. What probably would've been a superb 40 min. series finale' is often flimsy as a 90 min. film.Fortunately, the glaring flaws are largely redeemed in the last 15 min. The conclusion is set up pefectly and comes as a complete and devestating surprise; yet it's entirely believable and satisfying in the spirit of the original series. Even if "Homicide: The Movie" is more than a little diluted, it works as an appropriately bitter-sweet coda for one of the best series in the history of television."