Paradise Lost for Selleck's Chief Stone
For a TV movie "Stone Cold" is surprisingly entertaining but not because it has some thrilling storyline because honestly the storyline is a little weak. It's entertaining because it stars Tom Selleck delivering a character which is strangely fascinating, a quiet chief of Police who seems to go about his business in a detached cold way even when it is personal, emotionally blunt but still fun. His character almost sounds like a contradiction but it works and it is this which draws us as an audience into "Stone Cold", not the story about a serial killer or a subplot about a school girl being raped.
In the peaceful town of Paradise, Massachusetts Chief of Police Jesse Stone (Tom Selleck - Monte Walsh) finds himself on the hunt for a serial killer. But he's sure it's not just one killer and soon believes he knows who the killers are, except he has no proof, just a feeling and a belief that they are going to target him. At the same time he also has to deal with Candace (Alexis Dziena) a young girl who has been raped but is too scared to tell anyone who her rapists were.
Honestly I didn't actually think much to the storyline to "Stone Cold" it was weak as it tried to combine a storyline about a serial killer with that of a teenage girl who has been raped. In reality the two stories are separate and that is not a surprise, the link is that we have Chief of police Jesse Stone trying to track down a serial killer and believes that the killer or in fact killers are taunting him, going after those close to him and because he becomes a friend to the young girl Candace he knows that they will go after her. It is an extremely weak link and one which whilst throwing up one of the movies few twists is not that great.
But to be honest the main storyline about the serial killers is not great either because "Stone Cold" is one of those movies where we are told early on who the killers are and as such is a case of waiting for Jesse to work out who it is and why they are doing it. But there is no real reason or at least not to start with why they are killing, yes by the end they are taunting Stone but that is only after they have murdered a few people for no apparent reason. And it gets worse because somehow Stone guesses who the killers are but has no proof at all, he just has this feeling and it makes it all seem incredibly weak.
The actual storyline about Stone dealing with Candace the high school girl who has been raped is in fact much better. It's not the most deep of storylines but the way Stone with the aid of his assistant Molly manages to trap her rapists and then deals with them is good. It actually makes Stone more than just a 2 dimensional Chief of Police, allowing us to warm to this man who shows a real kindness and sympathy to the young girl.
But the thing about "Stone Cold" is that whilst the storylines are not the greatest it is still entertaining and it all comes down to Tom Selleck playing Jesse Stone. Now on one hand there is something cliche about Stone, he was a big city cop till he hit the bottle and lost his wife and as such there is this element of being emotionally damaged abut him. It comes across in the fact that he almost seems cold, emotionless speaking when he has to and usually in one word answers. But it also makes him fascinating because you then see the sympathy he has for young Candace, an almost protective warmth going on and in those he trusts, those he lets close there is also a fondness which manifests itself in moments of dark humour. It does feel like a character which is almost a contradiction, cold and emotionless one minute, warm and friendly the next but it makes him interesting.
And it is a good job that Selleck delivers such a fascinating character because the rest of the characters are by no means as good. Within the police department you have cliche characters, the smart assistant in Molly and the slightly naive young cop Luther. And then there are the killers who Stone guesses who they are, who I suppose are cocky in flirting with him when he questions them but they are too false, too unreal and to be honest quite cheesy.
What this all boils down to is there is a lot wrong with "Stone Cold", the storylines are weak as are many of the characters but despite this it is entertaining. And that entertainment comes from a wonderful performance from Tom Selleck who makes Stone a fascinating multi-faceted character who can be cold and withdrawn one minute then friendly and humorous the next. The irony is that "Stone Cold" is the first in a series of Jesse Stone movies and after what for me is a rocky start the series ends up better than some big screen movies.
Tags: Jesse Stone Movies