Seven years after her father’s secret manipulation of her relationship with Ryan Kelly, Molly Callens transfers away from Franklin, Tennessee, finishes her college degree, and joins her father’s company and prepares to become its CEO. Meanwhile, Ryan travels the country as a successful backup musician. In Franklin, Donna and Charlie find themselves faced with financial ruin when storm damage threatens to take The Bridge away from them forever. Then they are hit with an even worse tragedy, causing them to reach out to everyone whose lives they’ve touched. This prompts Ryan and Molly to return to Franklin and reunite with a common goal: to save The Bridge. Little do they know that their relationship might be rekindled too, even seven years later.
Production Quality (2 points)
There is a marked improvement in production quality from Part 1 to Part 2. The camera work improves; it seems like more time was spent on it. The sets are not as limited, but there are still excessive Christmas decorations everywhere. However, the musical score is no better and the editing is still below par. Time is better utilized in Part 2, but it still feels like important things have been discarded for the sake of typical Hallmark elements. Overall, The Bridge, Part 2 is back to usual Hallmark production quality, but no better than that.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
Writing a second part seven years later is an interesting concept, but it’s not presented properly. Why did it have to be seven years? Why not three, just enough for Molly to finish school? It seems like everything except Molly’s schooling and Ryan’s musical career was paused during the seven year lull. How did Molly and Ryan never ever discuss their falling out during those years, or even re-think their relationship? Nevertheless, Part 1 ends with Christmas, and viewers are transported seven years later—to another Christmas! Thus, this plot is littered with trite Christmas concepts. The Christian message is only slightly more pronounced than before. Since no character development was attempted in Part 1, the characters cannot be appreciated in Part 2. The dialogue is still wooden and robotic. The characters are still swept along by circumstances rather than affect their circumstances with their personality-driven choices. The Bridge quickly descends into the typical save-the-bed-and-breakfast plot and rushes to an expected conclusion. But even with that, the inevitable end of the plot is quite understated and confusing. In short, this plot once again has some potential that is washed away in a tide of Hallmark nonsense.
Acting Quality (.5 point)
One consolation here is that the helium from the previous installment has been discarded and replaced with typical amateurish acting. Line delivery is still robotic and forced and emotions are still not felt, but there is slight overall improvement. However, there are still makeup problems and too much costuming. In short, an all-too-common Hallmark casting performance.
As another aside, was it necessary to play Part 2 on Easter 2016 when there are still overt Christmas themes? Why not play both of them in December 2015? Where Part 1 was rushing to get to Part 2, the latter part is business as usual for Hallmark. Karen Kingsbury’s talent as an author is lost in this two-part disaster, all thanks to Hallmark. Some may criticize us for being so hard on this inspirational entertainment network, but their commitment to fakeness and fantasy over reality cannot be ignored. With the amount of money they spend on movies per year, they should be turning out some serious quality content. We can only imagine what quality movie creators like the Kendrick brothers, the Erwin Brothers, or the Burns Family especially could do with a three-hour two-part movie. It’s highly likely that a large network like Hallmark will never pay any attention to these meager blog posts, but we continue our clarion call to the Christian movie culture nonetheless: produce quality and creativity that’s better than the mainstream, not the same old thing over and over again.
Final Rating: 3 out of 10 points