Life After Murder
So here is the follow up to "Till Murder Do Us Part" a made for TV movie which told the Betty Broderick story up to the murder of her ex husband and his new wife Linda. At the end of that movie we got a series of prompts telling us what happened after the case as in the court cases which followed and the sentence finally passed. As such all I can assume and taking into account that "Her Final Fury" premiered on TV 8 months after "Till Murder Do Us Part" that the producers decided that the first movie was so popular with audiences that they decided to dramatize the court cases as well.
So having said that "Her Final Fury" starts with the ending of the first movie as we witness Betty entering Dan and Linda's bedroom and shooting them dead. What follows takes us from the next day when she turns herself in through what in fairness is a rollercoaster ride. We see how Betty decides that even with Dan gone she can't get proper legal representation and so goes to the media with her version of events which make out that she was abused. And we see the court cases with the first one being declared a mistrial due to just two jurors not agreeing with a guilty verdict.
Now the thing about "Her Final Fury" is that the actual courtroom stuff is not that interesting and certainly doesn't compare to other courtroom dramas as we have some showboating, some emotion and all the other regular elements. But again this movie works because of Meredith Baxter's portrayal of Betty Broderick which in the first movie had been delusional and frankly scary. This time around we still get delusional but also an element of being conceited as if she truly believed that she was innocent and had been driven to murder. The scenes of Betty in prison behaving like the rules don't extend to her are a perfect example of this and once again Baxter is on terrific form. On the subject of which I am a huge fan of Meredith Baxter and yet in these two movies she plays such a delusional and conceited character that for once I didn't feel like I could side or sympathise with her.
Aside from Baxter there are two other notable performances starting with Judith Ivey who as Dist. Atty. Kerry Wells delivers a perfectly controlled performance who brings out a determination to get justice but with out ever resorting to over the top theatrics. On the other hand Ray Baker as defence lawyer Jack Earley purposefully delivers those over the top theatrics and it provides the right conflict in courtroom styles from delivering facts to delivering theatrics.
What this all boils down to is that "Her Final Fury: Betty Broderick, the Last Chapter" is a good follow up to "Till Murder Do Us Part" with Meredith Baxter again delivering a brilliant performance to make it work. But in a way whilst I found this 2nd movie entertaining I do wonder whether it was entirely necessary.