Jane Doe: The Harder They Fall (2006)   3/53/53/53/53/5


Joe Penny and Lea Thompson in Jane Doe: The Harder They Fall (2006)

An Industrialist Overboard

Jim Monroe (Dorian Harewood), a body guard to industrialist Melvile Horning, wakes up dazed, confused and discovers his boss has fallen overboard but at the same time is accused by Horning's vice presidents on the boat of being drunk. Next morning he wakes up to be told that Melville is furious for him being drunk, despite pleading he wasn't and is fired on the spot by the yacht's captain. And matters become worse as his wife Margaret (Erica Gimpel) throws him out, believing he had been drinking again. But things take a curious turn when Melvile appears on TV and then later on his body washes up on the beach leading to Margaret contact Frank (Joe Penny) who use to work with Jim before he lost his job due to a drinking problem. With Frank calling in Jane (Lea Thompson) they set about solving the riddle of how a dead man appeared on live TV.

The "Jane Doe" movies, like all the made for TV mystery movie franchises, really rests on a couple of things. There is the combination of cast and characters, as in how likeable they are and then there is the entertainment factor of the mystery to be solved. Now like all the other movies in the series "Jane Doe: The Harder They Fall" has the casting and characters down pat with the likes of Lea Thompson and Joe Penny being likeable as their characters and then you have the guests and it is always nice to see Dorian Harewood, the same can be said of Erica Gimpel.

As for the mystery well it is far fetched enough to deliver those smile moments as Jane unlocks the mystery. And of course it is a combined mystery as she needs to solve how Horning appeared on TV when he was dead, why anyone would want him dead and what happened to Monroe for him to act drunk despite his protestations that he hadn't touched a drop. Yes there are flaws in the logic but they don't matter because it is all about the character of Jane solving the seemingly unsolvable.

What this all boils down to is that "Jane Doe: The Harder They Fall" is on par with all the other Jane Doe movies which makes it entertaining for those who enjoy made for TV mystery movies. But despite a few familiar faces making cameo appearances including Helen Slater there isn't anything really memorable about this movie.


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