Friday, September 27, 2019

Movie Review: Mystery 101 - Dead Talk

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great mystery, fun characters
Cons: Usual Hallmark cheese
The Bottom Line:
A trip out of town
Still leads Amy to murder
In this fun movie

“I Guess We Aren’t in Garrison Any More, Dorothy.”

When I was reviewing last week’s Mystery 101 movie, I mentioned that the movie really has three core characters.  They proved it this week by sending those three out of town for Dead Talk.

Amy Winslow (Jill Wagner) has been invited to give a talk on mysteries in Seattle as part of the Teachable Talks series.  However, not everyone is 100% enthusiastic about her giving that talk because the person behind them is Tim Bishop (Matthew James Dowden), Amy’s ex-boyfriend.  While Amy’s dad, Graham (Robin Thomas), always intended to go along, Detective Travis Burke (Kristoffer Polaha) decides to use some vacation time and go along as well.

The conference where Amy is giving her presentation is also supposed to be the launching pad for a new computer software that is going to solve crimes faster than humans can.  While Amy is skeptical, the Seattle police department has already signed on.  However, when the inventor, Mitchell McHale (Mark Krysko) is killed, Amy and Travis can’t help but begin to investigate despite the fact that it is well outside of Travis’s jurisdiction.  Will they solve the crime?

While I said this mystery franchise is about the three leads, Amy, Graham, and Travis, even Graham disappears for much of the second half, leaving it to Amy and Travis to carry the movie, and the investigation, on their own.  Not to worry, I was completely hooked the entire time, and I didn’t even notice Graham’s absence until I was thinking about it later.  We get to see some of the other regular characters at the beginning and end, but they are more cameos than anything else.

It’s not really an issue since there are plenty of new characters, including old love interests for both Amy and Travis.  (Seriously, these two need to officially start dating already!)  Granted, these characters are mostly suspects, but they are entertaining on their own and kept me guessing.

The plot in this movie was great.  I had no clue where it was going until Amy and Travis figured it out.  I never would have made the connections they did, but when they laid everything out, it was all perfectly logical.

The usual Hallmark cheese in both the writing and acting was there.  It was a bit more prevalent than in the previous movie, but still not enough to be an issue if you know to expect it going in.  For the most part, the acting was fine.

Fans of Hallmark mysteries will be delighted with Dead Talk.  If you are looking for a light, engaging mystery movie, this is definitely the film for you.

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