Rimes & Cibrian Love Lunacy
After his partner is killed, whilst attending a crime, former Baltimore detective Nate Burns (Eddie Cibrian - The Cave) moves to the Alaskan town of Lunacy to take up position as their new Chief of Police. And Nate soon realises that not everyone wanted him for the job especially as several locals also applied the position. Fortunately he he finds an ally, in fact more than an ally, in the flirtatious Meg (LeAnn Rimes), the town's pilot. When a dead body is discovered in the mountains it turns out to be Meg's father who disappeared 15 years earlier. With what looks like a historic murder on his hands and the State Police happy to settle for the simplest answer Nate starts investigating and finds himself soon dealing with threats as someone obviously doesn't want him snooping in to what happened up on the mountain.
The first thing to strike you about Nora Roberts' "Northern Lights" is the great location, the town of Lunacy may be made up but the actual location with its snowy mountain backdrop and old wooden buildings looks fantastic. Even the way we enter the town, flown in with Nate as he arrives to take the job of Chief of Police works well as we immediately get the feel of the community, everyone knows everyone and nothing goes unknown, well almost.
But the thing is that whilst the location may be great what follows in "Northern Lights" is not so much mundane but ordinary, or at least ordinary for a TV movie. We have the body discovered in the mountains, frozen there for 15 years and when Nate starts to investigate someone tries to make sure he doesn't succeed in unearthing the truth. It is far fetched but also at times reasonably well thought out as we have the fact that the only way in and out of the area is by plane so who ever tries to kill Nate is stuck in the town. It is very much a mixed bag and whilst some of "Northern Lights" works, such as how the dead man happens to be a father whose family thought he abandoned them, other parts such as the number of forced possible suspects just doesn't.
Of course Nate will solve the case, it's how these movies work and sadly this is where "Northern Lights" seriously falls down. It falls down because Nate doesn't have a clue who the killer is till a piece of evidence suddenly shows up and he knows exactly who that piece of evidence belongs to. Basically having spent the majority of the movie creating this set up of possibilities the answer is plucked out of the thin air far too quickly and the resolution of catching the murderer is too easy as well.
There is of course the other side to "Northern Lights", the romance and the emotion and in what feels very typical we have two damaged souls in Nate and Meg, both with issues from their past to deal with. It is all very cliche but what makes this more interesting is basically Meg is seriously flirtatious and sexual when it comes to attracting Nate. Watching LeAnn Rimes act all sex kitten like is entertaining and there is great chemistry with Eddie Cibrian who plays Nate. And yes LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian did end up becoming a couple and getting married following "Northern Lights".
What this all boils down to is that "Northern Lights" is basically not only your standard sort of TV movie but also a typical Nora Roberts' movie. It is entertaining and the location is stunning but it is not the sort of movie you need to go out of your way to watch.