If you’ve read my reviews for Reap What You Sew: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery and Darrow & Darrow: In the Key of Murder, you would know that I enjoy the mystery movies that Hallmark Movies & Mysteries offer. Each film feels like a thrilling adventure where the protagonist is always willing to bring viewers along for the ride! While there are mystery series that I really like, such as Darrow & Darrow, I feel that the Hailey Dean series is the network’s weakest. I liked Hailey Dean Mystery: Deadly Estate, but I wasn’t a fan of Hailey Dean Mystery: Murder with Love and Hailey Dean Mystery: Dating is Murder. When Hallmark announced that June would be Hailey Dean Mystery Month, I, honestly, thought that the Aurora Teagarden series should have gotten its own month instead. However, I recently watched Hailey Dean Mysteries: 2+2=Murder and gave the idea of Hailey Dean Mystery Month a fair chance. What did I think of the first of three Hailey Dean movies? Keep reading to solve this mystery!
Things I liked about the film:
The acting: The cast of this Hailey Dean movie was good. In the scene where the guilty suspect is revealed, Kellie Martin and Keith MacKechnie gave one of the most powerful performances they ever have in any Hallmark movie they’ve starred in! There were other actors in this movie that had stand-out performances as well. One of them is Viv Leacock, whose comedic timing was perfect. His portrayal of Fincher Garland is great and I hope that Viv is cast in more Hallmark movies!
The mystery: In almost all of the mystery movies on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, the body of the murder victim is shown within about the first twenty minutes of the film. In Hailey Dean Mysteries: 2+2=Murder, the victim was first deemed missing, their deceased body found later in the film. Characters who end up going missing in these mystery movies disappear later in that specific film’s story, so I think this was an interesting and creative way to start the mystery/movie. As for the mystery itself, I feel that it was well-written.
The dialogue: Not only was the dialogue in this movie well-written, it was also well-executed by the cast! What the characters said felt like natural conversation, with some of the actor’s lines sounding creative and clever. The best line in this movie was when Fincher tells Kellie, “I want to live to see tomorrow’s burrito”.
What I didn’t like about this film:
The pace: In most of the mystery movies on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, the film’s pace has been a bit faster than the movies on Hallmark Channel. This is caused by the suspense of the mystery as well as a balance of the film’s subplots. The newest Hailey Dean movie, however, has a pace that is slower than what I had hoped. Because of this, moments that should have been suspenseful and shocking felt like the energy was zapped out of them.
Sabrina’s story: I was surprised that Sabrina didn’t have any connection to the mystery in this movie, especially since she played a significant role in the previous film. She was given a subplot that I was not a fan of. It wasn’t that her story was bad, it just didn’t add anything to the overall movie.
My overall impression:
Hailey Dean Mysteries: 2+2=Murder was not as good as Hailey Dean Mystery: Deadly Estate, but it was better than Hailey Dean Mystery: Murder with Love and Hailey Dean Mystery: Dating is Murder. It was a decent start to Hailey Dean Mystery Month, but I hope the other two movies are stronger than this one. As a movie blogger and Hallmark fan, I want the Hailey Dean series to be a great series. I have seen mystery series on Hallmark’s second network that had less-than-stellar starts, but became stronger as the series went on (an example: the Flower Shop Mystery series). There have also been mystery series that had great starts, but fell apart at the end (another example: the Murder She Baked series). While I don’t know what the future will hold for the Hailey Dean series, all I know is I will continue to watch the rest of the movies in Hailey Dean Mystery Month and maybe I’ll review them for 18 Cinema Lane.
Overall score: 7 out of 10
Have you seen any of the Hailey Dean movies? What is your favorite movie series on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries? Please tell me what you think in the comment section!
Have fun at the movies!