HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
   
 
Newest Articles
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
   
 
  Narc Good cop, great cop
Year: 2002
Director: Joe Carnahan
Stars: Jason Patric, Ray Liotta, Anne Openshaw, Chi McBride, Busta Rhymes, Richard Chevolleau, John Ortiz
Genre: Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 3 votes)
Review: Detective Nick Tallis (Jason Patric) is a Detroit-based undercover narcotics cop who accidentally shoots a pregnant woman while trying to stop a crazed junkie from injecting a child with a deadly mix of drugs in a playground. The woman loses the baby, Tallis loses his badge. Eighteen months later, Tallis is climbing the walls playing house-husband, so jumps at the chance to get back on the force. The deal is this: he must investigate the recent murder of another narc called Michael Calvess, beaten and shot while undercover — a conviction will secure him the desk job he craves. So Tallis hits the street once more, alongside Calvess's old partner, Lieutenant Henry Oak (Ray Liotta), a veteran bruiser determined to nail Calvess's killers at any cost.

Narc may feel at times like an extended episode of The Shield or NYPD Blue, but that's because the films it most resembles — seventies police classics The French Connection, Nighthawks and Serpico — have had such a profound influence on modern TV cops. From Patric's David Crosby-style handlebar moustache to distinctly non-techno police offices piled high with paper and reports, this is a film out of time; so much so that it seems weird when at one point we see Patrick chatting on a mobile phone. The hand-held camera work, bursts of graphic violence, difficult-to-follow conversations about police procedure and motley supporting cast of drug dealers and petty criminals (including rapper Busta Rhymes) are all de rigeur these days, but writer/director Joe Carnahan still manages to package these traditional elements with gripping aplomb.

If it takes a few minutes to spot Patric beneath his grungey wool hat and facial hair, then Ray Liotta is almost unrecognisable as the hulking, brutish Oak; he looks more like Oliver Reed than Goodfellas' fresh-faced Henry Hill. While not entirely free of the actor's occasional tendency to cross the line into cackling ham, this is nevertheless Liotta's best performance since Scorsese's gangster epic, a mass of suppressed rage that threatens to explode at any moment. Patric is no less impressive; his is the less showy role, but his portrayal of the complex Tallis — a good man trying to balance a love of his family with the dangerous draw of his job — is subtle and sympathetic, especially during the scene in which he questions Calvess's wife, recognising in her much of the anguish his own wife experiences over her husband's choice of career. It's a shame that Tallis's troubled homelife isn't explored in greater depth, but Carnahan remains more interested in his two main protagonists and their increasingly murky investigation.

Detroit proves to be the perfect location for this tale of bubbling violence and moral bankruptcy, the desolate winter streets captured brilliantly in Alex Nepomniaschy's ice-blue photography. Nothing in the film quite matches the searing opening sequence as Tallis desperately pursues the dealer whose murderous actions will lose him his job, but if the film isn't quite as cutting-edge as Carnahan seems to think it is, then the restless pacing, dynamic performances and sheer kinetic energy make for undeniably compelling viewing.
Reviewer: Daniel Auty

 

This review has been viewed 5577 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: