Wednesday, October 16, 2013

jesse stone thin ice

Tom Selleck's fifth go round as Robert B Parker's Jesse Stone, the emotionally wounded chief of police for Paradise Massachusetts a small hamlet not far from Boston. Sharing many of the same characters as the Spencer novels the stories and the films have a nice familiar feel while having their own unique style. This is the first film not to be based upon a Parker novel, though to be perfectly honest I think it would fit in nicely with the books.

Stone, forever pining for his ex-wife is at the end of the road and perhaps as the story begins the end of his rope. One of the town fathers has it in for Stone because he's not playing ball. he is not using his men to write lucrative speeding tickets (and he's removed the best ticket writer the town had) nor is he willing to hire the man's son in law. The main thrust of the film is that Stone was involved in a shooting that left the head of the state police homicide squad, Captain Healy, (a cross over character from the Spencer novels) struggling for his life. Healy is a good friend of Stone's and he is not going to let the shooting rest, "because I got shot as well". From this shooting comes further complications as Stone becomes involved with an internal affairs cop investigating the shooting. Add to the mix there is also the appearance of a woman from New Mexico who is looking for her son who was abducted seven years earlier while still an infant and whom she believes maybe in Paradise.

There is much going on and yet at times not a great deal since the film seems more interested in getting into the head of Selleck's Jesse Stone. A man of few words Stone says little preferring his actions to say more than his words. He is a very moral man (his battle with the town council makes that clear) adrift in a world with out morality.I know on some level I would have liked more details to the mysteries at hand, but at the same time I like that the film is a character driven tale. I like that you have to watch the film (and the other Stone films) because what is important isn't what is being said, its whats being done and what is happening between the words. There is a really good scene late in the film when Stone, knowing he is being watched, goes through a pantomime with one of his officers. What is being said runs at odds at how things look, it is something that sums up how the Stone films work.They draw you in and make you care because in order for them to work you have to pay attention to what the characters really are saying and doing.

I liked the film a great deal. If you are a Jesse Stone fan you will like this as well. If you've not seen one before I think you'd like it as well. I'm sure, that you'll be like me and it will have you looking forward to the next one.

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