Crafting TV-detective franchises like Murder She Wrote and Matlock isn't as easy as it looks, and this Hallmark Channel original film is the proof.
Balancing a checkbook is a cinch for suburban mom Kathy Davis (Lea Thompson), but balancing her two identities is trickier for the former secret agent known as "Jane Doe:" To safeguard America’s security, Kathy's husband and two kids must be kept in the dark. Complicating matters, whenever her old boss, Frank Darnell (Joe Penny), can’t lick a case he pulls Jane Doe out of semi-retirement. This time electronically savvy thieves have stolen the Declaration of Independence from an exhibition at a Philadelphia bank, and Jane is given carte blanche by United Metropolitan Bank to figure out how they did it. Jane quickly deduces that the crooks replaced the bona fide document with a hologram. Meanwhile, on the home front, Jane must keep inventing hard-to-swallow pretexts to slip away from her family. And if she didn’t have enough on her plate, Frank’s new partner, Helen (Tamlyn Tomita), regards her as an intrusive relic of earlier agency times. The most likely suspect is the bank’s security whiz, but his wife, Fran Hinkel (Pamela Reed), convinces Jane that her husband’s Is innocent and that someone is trying to frame him. To distract Jane from the task at hand, the real mastermind even kidnaps Fran. Fortunately, baking pies hasn’t dulled Jane’s instincts; she has to wonder why the gang has been stalling about collecting the $5,000,000. ransom it demanded. Could the theft of the treasured document be a ruse to cloak another crime?
The Jane Doe mysteries feature the weakest protagonist in the Hallmark Channel’s trio of 21st-century sleuths (the other crime-solvers are the owner of a mystery bookshop and an attorney), and the premise is as preposterous, but not as diverting as The Father Dowling Mysteries.
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- Released: 2005
- Rating: NR
- Review: Crafting TV-detective franchises like Murder She Wrote and Matlock isn't as easy as it looks, and this Hallmark Channel original film is the proof. Balancing a checkbook is a cinch for suburban mom Kathy Davis (Lea Thompson), but balancing her two ident… (more)