County Line: No Fear – Retirement is not an option
Directed by: Brent Christy
Starring: Tom Wopat, Kelsey Crane, Patricia Richardson, Denim Richards, Casper Van Dien
Synopsis: Alden Rockwell’s retirement plans are interrupted when a crime syndicate threatens the family of neighbouring York County sheriff Joanne “Jo” Porter, starting a chain reaction that turns into a battle for the future of the two counties.
Tom Wopat is back as Sheriff Alden Rockwell in this third and possibly final chapter in the fun family action series.
The whole family can enjoy the County Line movies. They have lots of action, drama and a healthy dose of heart, similar to Diagnosis Murder, The Dukes of Hazzard and Walker, Texas Ranger. There is always a positive message to be learned in these shows even when there is action and drama. With memorable characters and family-friendly storylines, these shows provide engaging entertainment for all ages.
Our favourite Sheriff is ready to retire and hang up his badge and gun. Sheriff Jo Porter of the neighbouring county ends up embroiled in a crime syndicate from Atlanta. When Alden steps up to assist her, the syndicate decides to leave Atlanta and brings crime and destruction to his front door. To protect his small town and its people, Alden must go toe-to-toe with the criminal element to protect them all.
The Art of War
Although the action in County Line: No Fear is dialed down in comparison to the first and second entries in Alden’s story. The action is scaled back for some old school smarts which change the pace and make for a more exciting conclusion when Alden’s smarts come to light. It is still a fun and gripping story that puts regular hero Casper Van Dien in some smarmy villainous shoes. It is no secret that Van Dien excels in this kind of role and gives an excellent performance as the head of the syndicate. He begins a deadly game of chess with Alden. Through his captivating performance, Van Dien artfully conveys a complex and dangerous character that keeps viewers on their toes throughout the movie.
Kelsey Crane reprises the role of Sheriff Jo Porter. Kelsey gets to dive deeper into Jo’s personal life. Kelsey gets to have fun with her character with the possibility of a love interest with Denim Hill’s Deputy Dante Hill (soon-to-be-Sheriff) and we also meet Jo’s father who has a questionable past. There is the potential for a fourth movie focusing on the characters of Porter and Hill, possibly with Wopat’s Alden appearing briefly. Unlike County Line: All In, Crane doesn’t kick as much ass, but she does bring Jo to life with more personality and makes the character relatable. The actress proves that she can take on the franchise with her outstanding performance. Crane’s performance is stellar and it is clear that she is more than capable of carrying the franchise forward, should a fourth movie come to fruition.
Patricia Richardson returns as Alden’s love interest, Maddie. This entry expands on Richardson’s role. Maddie and Alden are making plans for his retirement, but we know Alden doesn’t spend his days lying in a hammock or drinking beer. Despite her character’s love for Alden, she can see that he will always have the itch to return to duty. Maddie is determined to help Alden enjoy his retirement, but it won’t be easy–Alden has a deep-seated desire to stay in the force, even going so far as to become an honourary deputy. As if that’s not enough, the syndicate complicates matters by setting fire to Maddie’s restaurant, putting not only their relationship but Maddie’s life at risk.
County Line: No Fear plays out like a game of chess, which is a prominent theme throughout the film. Having Alden use his wits and smarts instead of his fists keeps the audience intrigued. This is because they are constantly wondering what he has up his sleeves or if he is actually two steps behind! By placing the emphasis on Alden’s smarts and wit instead of his fists, the audience is drawn in by the thrilling anticipation of what his next move will be and if he is one step ahead or two steps behind!
In the movie’s final fight, Alden delivers his brand of old-school justice. He proves that the classic strategies of strength and courage are still relevant in the modern world. In addition to tying up Alden’s story, the movie establishes new beginnings for Kelsey Crane as Jo and Denim Hill as Dante. As we wait to see if director Brent Christy continues the franchise, I am looking forward to seeing what he has in store for these beloved characters. As the film draws to a close, we get a sense of closure but also a hint of future possibilities. This leaves us hopeful as we anticipate the next installment of the County Line series.