Jesse Stone: Night Passage (2006)

Written by Reno on October 24, 2016

Jesse's first ever encounter with the Paradise.

The second film in the Jesse Stone franchise, technically this is where the series begins, because this is a prequel and based on the first book by Robert B. Parker. We have seen in some films, they begin the story like, perhaps with a robbery and then go back to tell us how it all began. Because they want a strong opening, so that's quite a convincingly unorthodox way to begin. The same theory was applied for this film series like the recent animation 'Tintin', that they started with the fourth book which had a more interesting element to get the big viewers.

So we're back to the origins with this and it is obviously slow, but that's how the introductions work. In the previous film I did not know how deep the Jesse's connection with the Paradise. Likewise, many doubts were cleared after watching this. The tale begins with the Jesse's cross country road trip. After the days of journey finally he arrives the Paradise. Meanwhile, you will learn why he got transferred to a small town in the New England's coastline, besides it also reveals his personal issues like divorce and alcohol addiction.

It is a new beginning for him, and he's prepared to turn his life around from all the recent hits. He's not young unlike in the book, he's not stylish either like Sherlock or Poirot, just an ordinary cop, but he deals with all the police work on his own way. He was replaced by the day before retired another young police chief and Paradise is looking forward for his service. But looks he already made an enemy while dealing a small domestic violence and when he receives the news of the ex-cop was killed, his first ever case quietly enters a probe.

If you are a dog lover, be prepared for an emotional event. Once I had a dog, so I know how it all ends. Those parts were underdeveloped, but it does not matter if you love pets. I think it was one of the best additions to bring the sentiments while Jesse was hurt by his failed marriage which we won't feel as he does. Because we know enough him since, at which point he was introduced to us, but we don't know anything about his past, particularly married life or the ex-wife or as a big city cop.

"I'm not in the right and wrong business. I'm in the legal and illegal business."

The film came ten years ago, but still today it feels fresh. Slow narration, but nicely made film with the wonderful performances. Tom Selleck was good as he was in the previous one and the rest of the cast well supported him. Viola Davis' one of the earlier work in her acting career, but not a big role, not in the first two films, so lets see how her role shapes up in the remaining ones. As well, for Britt Robertson, who was so young, appeared as a troubled teenager girl and I doubt her return in the next film.

In this story, the crime solving was a small part. The Narration had other stuffs to focus on like familiarising everybody and the place to the viewers. At a time the search for the killer unintentionally takes a twist. Like Jesse's cop instinct leads the way to nab him, but how he does it, with whom help, place, time, all come into the effect the tale to end on a high.

The Jesse Stone was kind of depressing, maybe that is another reason why this film was not the first in the series as it should be, but most of the viewers judge him or the film for his great work. I annoyed by Jesse when he calls his colleague 'suitcase' and I'm happy the point was brought in, but the given reason was not convincing enough. I hope it will be resolved in the other films, because a great personality like him (of course a fictional character) should not degrade himself with those silly remarks for others.

I liked it so far in the series for being simple, particularly not making any hype on any characters, crime or even there's no hurry in the developments or to bring in the edgy moments, which is very essential for a cop film. That's obviously a cliché, but the film avoided it carefully until it's needed. Calm and coolly reaches where it is heading like a bit of realistic touch, but cinematic feel is there.

And regarding the crime, once again, for the second consecutive time the film did not hold back the identity of the killer. It was not intended to be a mystery crime-drama, but from the perspective of cop who knows nothing about the suspect hold the key for the entire development till it ends. So I can't compare it with any similar genius detective characters' films.

Overall a good follow-up film, but I don't think everybody would be happy as they were for the first film. Maybe after this, watching again the 'Stone Cold' seems not a bad idea, or if you have not begun watching this series then I suggest to begin with this, followed by the first and the original order for the remaining. There won't be any complication to follow, because it would give us a clean flow of the story to get involved. I think if you like slow presentation you will enjoy it. It is just a second film, there's a long way to go, so then lets we meet in the third film.