Now that she is now the rightful owner of her late mother’s charity foundation, Katie Mayfield sets out to make a difference in the Englisher world she is now a part of. Everything in her life seems to be lining up perfectly, especially when her boyfriend, Justin, proposes marriage to her, which she accepts. But as she becomes more immersed in the affluent lifestyle she inherited and becomes closer to Justin, she realizes that some things are just not meant for her. Katie becomes especially confused when her childhood boyfriend, Daniel Fisher, whom she thought was dead, suddenly reappears in her life. Despite her disgust at him, he reminds her of things she had almost forgotten about herself. In the end, Katie will have to come to a reckoning of who she really is in order to move forward in the direction God wants her to go.
Production Quality (2 points)
As per usual Hallmark conventions, there are enough positive production elements in The Reckoning to make this the strongest point of the film. The camera work is professional and the video quality is solid. The audio quality is above par. For the most part, the sets and locations are realistic but not very diverse. The surroundings seem fairly realistic, but sometimes they are forced. The soundtrack is stock Hallmark music, but what do you expect at this point. The biggest problem here is the editing, which is choppy and isolating. A lot of contradictory content is crammed into ninety minutes, especially when you take into account the previous arcs of this trilogy. Transitions between scenes are awkward—the general flow of the movie is disjointed. In other words, The Reckoning is just another slapped together Hallmark production that looks good on the outside but lacks inner substance.
Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)
From where The Confession left off, The Reckoning begins upending the continuity of the storylines and abandoning original themes. What is left in the aftermath is another run-of-the-mill Hallmark love triangle with an obvious conclusion. While Katie Mayfield seems like the same character she was before, all other characters from previous films are drastically transformed into caricatures with obvious roles in an inevitable plot. Believability and authenticity are stripped from the characters, leaving them as empty shells to be played in Hallmark’s money game. One interesting thing that is addressed in this film is the values conflict between Katie and Justin, but why is Justin made out to be such a rigidly godless character with no basis? If Katie wanted to get away from the strict Amish ways, why did she vaguely return to them by the end of the trilogy? What was even the point of her leaving? Basically, The Reckoning feels like a cheaply rushed and forced conclusion to an otherwise okay film trilogy. Little thought was put into this work, because who can dare to stop the Hallmark machine from churning out another cheesy inspirational movie?
Acting Quality (.5 point)
Katie Leclerc, the only returning cast member, is also the only good actress in this film. The Lancaster County Trilogy has already been plagued by lack of cast continuity, but The Reckoning really takes the cake. A majority of the replacement actors and actresses bear no resemblance whatsoever to previously portrayed characters. It’s like they’re not even trying. In addition, no effort is placed on acting coaching, as line delivery and emotional delivery are very flat and straightforward. Also, these characters have been #Hallmarked with overuse of makeup and costuming.
This is, in short, a disappointing end to a trilogy that had a lot of potential. Instead of trying to follow closer to the original novel or at least putting some amount of thought into portraying the characters as realistic, another good idea gets swept along in the wake left by Hallmark’s pursuit of money. The powers that be of Hallmark constantly treat their viewers as stupid, seemingly thinking that their mindless movie content and gross alterations will go unnoticed because people just want to watch another Hallmark movie. We beg to differ and choose to believe that audiences are better than this, which means that production companies need to offer better options than this. Instead of constantly churning out stupidly forgettable movies and ruining otherwise good storylines, Hallmark needs to put their money to good use and provide a platform for those who are truly gifted and creative—without inserting their own agenda into it.
Final Rating: 2.5 out of 10 points
#2– Posted in error, ahead of completion….. I was saying that it’s a powerful feeling to be able to control one’s discretionary movie watching, at any time of day or night! We have DVDs as well, and other means of movie watching, through Amazon Prime, and the WatchTCM app. Hallmark unfortunately has lost me for good.
About the only thing they did, that I find at all memorable for the right reasons, is one they did about a young woman during WWII who is abandoned by the father of their child, conceived out of wedlock and still far from being born. She is shipped off by a very conservative father to marry a young man who is a farmer in California, and has agreed to the circumstances as presented to him by the pastor of his church. She makes friends with a couple of sisters who are residents of the nearby “Relocation Center” for Japanese- Americans, raising a few eyebrows in doing so, not the least of whom is her new husband.
I won’t go further with the plot – you’re welcome – but I can’t even recall the title! “Something something of some kind of days” is all I can recall at the moment! Sorry about that. Anyway, I did enjoy watching that, mostly due to an abiding interest in all things related to the Homefront during World War II. It was quite good actually, with a few weak points in the storyline, but generally all right. I will go look it up now, so I’ll know the title if they happen to show it again!
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Given the $$ consciousness of Hallmark, and their obvious lack of interest in putting forth anything beyond technically well done, they are consistently leaving the viewer with confusing, direction-less, disjointed plotlines, along with poor, flat, emotion-filled OR emotionless performances, they never seem to be able to find the much needed “Happy Medium” that these productions simply cry out for. I have long since ceased to watch the channel as a whole, and these types of productions specifically. I happen to have about 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, since I have become totally disabled several years back, and am stuck at home to do what I can with my time, including but not completely, watching television. I am not sitting here all that time with the TV blaring away with meaningless drivel, game shows, golfing and other sports in which I have no interest which does not include professional Baseball or the NASCAR races I watch with my husband on weekends, “lack-of-reality” shows, constant commercial interruptions attempting to sell me everything in the world I have no use or desire for, or heaven forbid, SOAP OPERAS! Most days my TV isn’t even on until late afternoon or early evening, and it seems to have become permanently fixated to TCM, who just recently lost their original, and long-beloved host to an unspecified illness. But my DVR is stuffed right now with 103 very classic movies from the Golden Age of Hollywood, and a few more recent productions we learned to enjoy very quickly. There’s absolutely nothing else like a really good classic film, whether it was made in B&W, or various methods of color, shown completely uncut, unedited beyond it’s original release format, and totally COMMERCIAL FREE! On your own home screen. No dressing up and going out, sticking to someone else’s timeframe, beyond the original broadcast schedule! My oldest movies recorded to my DVR were put there in 2013! I haven’t any silent pictures, mostly due to personal lack of interest, not that they don’t have their own merits, but I imagine my oldest movie goes back to the beginnings of “talkies.” And all the way up to probably “The Lord of The Rings” trilogy. Also other relatively new releases they have shown in line with some theme they were promoting at the time. It’s totally refreshing and a rather powerful feeling to be able to control one’
We totally agree that Hallmark is just trying to make money by churning out bare-minimum movies to fill their airtime. It’s great that you recognize this. It’s great to be able to decide your own viewing schedule; now our desire is for the quality of Christian entertainment to increase so that there are more new things that are good to watch. Thanks for reading and sharing!
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The Reckoning is so hard to follow and impossible to explain that I only have one thing to say. Why was this film made? It would have been better to end the series in the suspense of the previous film rather than make a trainwreck sequel like this.
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