TV Review - Goodnight for Justice: Queen of Hearts

This TV movie originally aired on the Hallmark Channel and it has all the attributes and sensibilities of the Hallmark movies that have and still aired on ABC. It does have a bit more edge than Hallmark greeting cards. It's also just a ball of fun, as it moves nimbly along. It's actually the third installment in the series of films that began in 2011.

It stars Luke Perry (Beverly Hills 90210 and Oz). Perry plays John William Goodnight, a circuit court judge living in the immediate years after the Civil War. The whole thing is essentially a western, which is not my favorite genre, but Perry's character isn't your typical movie gunslinger or nameless anti-hero. I'm sure he probably draws inspiration from those things and even nods to those things, such as a nod to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), but this movie is just as if not more winsome with its use of dialogue than it is with his horse chases and shootouts.

Written by Tippi Dobrofsky and Neal Dobrofsky, this story focuses on Lucy Truffant, played by Katharine Isabelle, a woman who is on the run. She claims to be a widow and is traveling to her home state to be with her family. Ricky Schroder (Silver Spoons and NYPD Blue) co-stars as Colonel Cyril Knox, a war veteran who is actually in pursuit of Lucy, but his intentions are not good for the most part. In order to get away from Cyril, Lucy gets herself arrested, which puts her in the path of John. John takes on the task of protecting her from Cyril.

It's a great adventure, in the vein of 3:10 to Yuma (2007) and True Grit (2010). Director Martin Wood has a bit more action scenes to handle than the first movie. It all culminates to a sequence on board a steam boat, which was somewhat thrilling. Yet, I was just as thrilled at the scenes, which pitted Perry and Isabelle against one another in fun and witty, verbal repartee.

A signature scene involves the characters playing poker, and a lot of the scenes, even when card games aren't on the table, still are about gambling things and having to bluff their way out. It also features a really great scene of Perry's character John having to shout down a bear. It's weird but great because despite John's cool, rational and even-handed way of being a judge, he can be a bit of bear when he has to be.

Five Stars out of Five.
Rated TV-PG-LV.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 26 mins.


Popular Posts