Rating: R for violence, language
Run Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes
I’m a sucker for high-octane, morally neglectful cop movies. When those fast-paced babies are saturated with corruption, violence and redemption, count me in.
Lucky Joe Carnahan, who had previously directed only the low budget crime comedy “Blood, Guts, Bullets and Octane”, caught the eye of no less than Tom Cruise when “Narc” screened on the who’s-who private-screening circuit. Tom has clout where it counts, so, voila!, Joe found himself with a distribution deal and a movie that’s knocking critics’ socks off.
Which is as it should be. Ray Liotta hands over his best performance in years as Henry Oak, a widowed rogue homicide detective with a ten-ton chip on his shoulder. Forced into partnership with burned-out narcotics cop Nick Tellis (Jason Patric), Oak pulls rank and sets up a co-covert murder investigation into the death of a rookie undercover officer, who happened to be Oak’s ex-partner.
it before. The dark underbelly of the
drug world, cops teetering on the edge of sanity, and an officer’s sorely
neglected wife. But Carnahan and his
players manage to synchronize their story (set on the mean streets of
Graphic images jockey with smashing technique – split screen, blue-tinted digital, etc. The script is hard core grit, delivered with genuine, teeth-gnashing turpitude by our stellar boys in blue. Liotta and Patric are the yin and yang of the project and they know it, oozing bad boy confidence and sinister style. Perfectly executed in an urgent, 70s action fashion whose time has come and (sadly) gone, “Narc” is must-see cinema.