Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Movie Review: Her Last Breath - A Ruby Herring Mystery

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Good mystery, characters, and laughs
Cons: Higher than normal cheese count
The Bottom Line:
A car crash victim
Sets up this good mystery
With a tad more cheese

“Who Would Do Something Crazy Like That?”  “You.”

Of the new franchises that Hallmark has given us this year, I struggled the most with the first Ruby Herring mystery, so I wasn’t looking forward to Her Last Breath, our second visit with Ruby, as I have been for some of their other movie franchises.  Still, I found myself enjoying this movie more than I expected to.

As this movie picks up, Ruby (Taylor Cole) is still the consumer investigative reporter for a local TV station in Seattle.  She is planning an interview with Natalie Billings (Rachel Hayward), a local yoga and health food expert, for the next day.  Natalie has turned her interests into an empire, but the two have been friendly for years.  However, when Ruby shows up to do the interview, Natalie is nowhere to be found.  In fact, no one has seen her since the day before.  Unfortunately, Natalie was in a car accident, and she didn’t make it.  However, pieces of the accident aren’t adding up for Ruby and detective Jake Killian (Stephen Huszar).  Ruby puts on her crime reporter hat again and begins digging into what happened.  But will the clues lead Ruby and Jake to the truth?

Of course, the audience knows that Natalie was murdered – not because of anything we see on screen but because if she weren’t, we’d have no mystery.  It doesn’t take the characters too long to get to the same conclusion, and then we are off on a good mystery with plenty of suspects.  This one played out a little differently from most, although a couple of the twists were obvious before they happened.  Still, I wasn’t completely sure how it was all going to come together until the end.

They had to do a bit of recasting between movies as John Wesley Shipp joins the cast as Ruby’s father.  I would have liked to see a few more scenes with him, but it is nice to see him here.  (I’d really like a franchise where the main character has both of their parents, but I realize that would wind up involving more actors and a higher budget.)

Unfortunately, most of the higher cheese levels that hurt the first movie hurt this one as well.  Some of it is the writing, some the direction, and some the acting.  There weren’t as many scenes of the programs the TV station airs, which does help lower the cheese factor.  This is something that most of us watching Hallmark films know to expect, so we can take it in stride.

Some of the lines were downright funny, however, and I enjoyed the lengths that Ruby went through to get to view some evidence.  Yes, I laughed a few times, especially at the flirting between Ruby and Jake.

I’m still not completely sold on this franchise, but I am glad I gave Her Last Breath a chance.

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