HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  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 6640 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
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: