My Review of Narc
Without the help of Tom Cruise, this movie would have went by unnoticed by most of us. When his producing partner Paula Wagner saw Narc at last year's Sundance, she instantly showed it to Tommy. He loved it. He convinced Paramount to buy the picture and push it for the Oscars. After a small release in the L-A/NY market, the film opens this week nationwide. The indie flick is written and directed by Joe Carnahan featuring Jason Patric, Ray Liotta, Chi McBride and Busta Rhymes.
When a drug bust goes awry, undercover narcotics officer Nick Tellis (Jason Patric) is suspended from the Detroit Police Force. Eighteen months later, Tellis is brought before a review board and told he is needed to help crack a homicide case. A rookie undercover officer has been killed, and if Tellis takes on the assignment and apprehends a suspect, he is told he can have the assignment of his choosing and all the charges against him will be dismissed. Homicide detective Henry Oak (Ray Liotta), the slain officer¹s partner, is a bare bones, brass knuckles cop who has been leading the investigation. A respected officer, Oak has become increasingly volatile and aggressive since the trail of clues in the case has gone cold. Despite his wife's concerns Tellis teams up with Oak, whose heavy-handed, and often brutal style, is difficult for Tellis to handle. Still, somehow the two men begin to work together, chasing down leads, tracking informants and finally zeroing in on suspects.
WOW! Tommy was right! I adore it. It's one of the greatest cop movies of the past 20 years. This is head spinning action and drama from start to finish. Joe Carnahan wrote a spectacular screenplay. The dialog is sharp and seems genuinely REAL. Nowhere does it sound like one of those crappy buddy-cop comedies. The direction is quite extravagant for an $8 million movie. Carnahan pulled out every low budget visual trick he could and it worked. I need to address the opening of the film. It is one of the most riveting starts to a film in recent movie history. Shot with a hand-held camera supposedly, it's hypnotic. It hits you in the face instantly. I kept muttering "what the $%" over and over during those first 10 minutes. It sucks you instantly into the movie. You have trouble breathing. I wish every action movie would begin like this one.
Jason Patric is fantastic. It's been a while since he's been in anything good and I missed his talent. He plays the broken-down cop hunted by his past demons to perfection. Everyone keeps raving about Ray Liotta but it's Patric you should pay attention to. The deepness in which he inhabits his role is spellbinding. I really felt for that guy. He's on the edge. Will he fall back into his old habits? Will he walk away? Or will his obsession for finding the truth lead to his ultimate downfall? His performance transpires all those questions. I hope someone rewards Jason for this superb job. It has already started with Disney casting him as Jim Bowie in The Alamo. Let's not forget Ray Liotta. His performance has been hyped more then the movie itself it seems. The hoopla is true. He's over-the-top spectacular. He looks extremely menacing and intense. We've seen him like that before (Turbulence comes to mind). But it's his interaction with Patric that makes the movie. It will probably jump-start Ray's career again.
If you're looking for something good, something different or something worth 10 bucks then make sure you see this movie next weekend. We need to encourage new, intelligent and exciting filmmaking.
That's all folks...