Pros: Fun characters; strong mystery
Cons: Cheese; I had trouble believing initial premise
The Bottom Line:
A missing teacher
Plus a face from Hailey’s past
Equals fun movie
Hunt for a Missing Teacher
Hallmark seems to realize they have a winner with their various mystery movie franchises. They are pushing out more movies than ever this year, including three movies featuring Hailey Dean in June. The first of those is 2 + 2 = Murder.
Not surprise that a school features prominently into this movie. It’s the school that Hailey’s (Kelly Martin) niece attends, and it is in constant need or repair – more repairs than the school board can afford to give it. As a result, the school is hosting a talent show fund raiser starring the kids, spearheaded by Miss Sacks, an extremely popular teacher.
However, the night of the performance, Miss Sacks can’t be found. Hailey is uneasy about her disappearance and quickly begins to suspect foul play. Is she right? What has happened to the teacher?
There’s a good mystery here, and it certainly kept me intrigued the entire way through. The twists and clues kept me guessing what had really happened until the end, when Hailey figured it all out. The climax was tense, but ultimately resolved everything.
They’ve made a big deal about Chad Lowe joining the franchise for the three movies premiering this month. I was worried this would spell a complication for Hailey’s love life. Fortunately, her relationship with medical examiner Jonas (Matthew MacCaull) seems to be just fine. Instead, Chad plays the best friend of Hailey’s murdered fiancé, playing into the ongoing storyline of the movies, and one we are supposed to get serious progress on before the month is over. His scenes added a more serious tone to the movie but gave us some real insight into Hailey’s character.
But it’s not all serious. There’s a fun sub-plot involving a food truck and plenty of scenes with the characters we already know and love. Of course, the movie does come with my normal Hallmark cheese warning, but if you expect that going in, you’ll be fine.
I did have an issue with the initial premise. Maybe it’s just me since I don’t have any kids so I’m out of the school loop, but I really can’t imagine a public school holding a fundraiser for major building maintenance, which is the initial set up for the movie. I know school budgets are struggling, but this stretched my ability to believe to the limit. Fortunately, the mystery was strong enough to make up for it.
That complaint aside, 2 + 2 = Murder is an enjoy mystery movie. I’m ready to find out what Hailey gets up to next.