from police duty after an under cover operation gone bad, Narcotics
Officer Nick Tellis (Jason Patric) is reinstated to solve the mysterious
murder of officer Michael Calvez, teaming up with Henry Oak (Ray
Liotta), Calvez' partner hell bent on finding the man who killed
A gritty crime/mystery, Narc is a welcome throw back to the
William Friedkin/Sidney Lumet films of the 1970s, full of great
characters, excellent use of location, and great performances.
An exceptional actor who gives one of his best performances, Jason
Patric's brooding, introverted approach works very well, his character
battling demons within as he seeks redemption for his past mistakes.
Ray Liotta is also excellent. With his added weight, cold steel
eyes, and grizzled goatee, Liotta play's Oak like he is the big
bad wolf hungry for blood no matter who is in his way, in the process
delivering his best work since Goodfellas.
Both characters have different methods and philosophies to their
work; it is as if Frank Serpico and Popeye Doyle got together to
work on a case, both men will want to find the truth but the shit
will definitely hit the fan before that happens.
Joe Carnahan delivers as both a writer and director. The script
is great, the scenes shared between Patric and Liotta full of rich
dialogue, the most memorable when Liotta speaks about his recently
deceased wife during a stakeout.
The film switches at time's from moments of cold, subtle silence
to full blown violence, with great use of the steady cam brining
an added realism to the films at times frantic pace, the opening
scene in particular a gut wrenching piece of cinema, as Patric pursues
a drug dealer in an exceptionally well choreographed foot chase
that lead's to a tragic conclusion.
A great cop drama that should have received much more awards and
pundits that the previous years Training Day, Narc
is highly recommended viewing for fans of the genre and for the
performances of Patric and Liotta.