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Stone Cold (2005) (TV Movie)  

Review: written May 2009

Above average TV pilot

Stone Cold (2005) (TV Movie)

This was the first in a series of movies in which Tom Selleck brings to life Robert Parker's creation, Jesse Stone, and highly successful it is too.

Selleck brings to life this world weary and imperfect character - a moral man, full of imperfections but who wants to do the right thing and has the instinct to do it. He is an ex big city policeman, now a police chief in the sleepy town of Paradise, population 25,000. He is battling alcohol, and is unable to let go of the memory of his ex wife, who calls him regularly. All in all, a much more flawed character than we are used to seeing him play, but he does a terrific job, and brings his gravitas to create a character who, in spite of his flaws, we see as an upright man.

Trouble starts when an investigation into a murder quickly develops into a serial murder, with no apparent motive.. meantime, the investigation into the gang rape of a young teenager is ongoing, despite pressure to let it drop. None of it is anything new to the genre, but it is written with a satisfyingly slow burn approach, sucking you into the lives and characters enough to make you care what happens to them.

Although the subject matter sounds harsh, the telling of it is realistic, and relatively slow moving and subdued for a modern show. Frankly, for this viewer that was part of the appeal - no blaring soundtrack, no hyper fast edits - just good story telling. However, if it is an action movie you are after, best look elsewhere. This is a character piece, where the thriller elements are unsurprising, but the script and folks you meet along the way will take you willingly along for the ride.

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