Jittery camera moves and a grey-blue palette make it clear that Narc
is a gritty police drama in the tradition of The French Connection
. Jason Patric plays Nick Tellis, a former undercover cop with an accidental death on his conscience, which may be why he's agreed to partner with Henry Oak (Ray Liotta), a lieutenant determined to track down the killers of his former partner. This could all be rote, but the grit sticks: writer-director Joe Carnahan takes a huge leap forward from his Tarentino-wannabe first film, Blood, Guts, Bullets & Octane
. The entire cast is excellent; Patric and Liotta give rich, textured performances that make their respective obsessions vivid and sad. Narc
could use more of the dark humour that occasionally bursts out, but the movie's drive and energy make it more than a bleak tale of good intentions gone bad. --Bret Fetzer
After a spell away from the police force, when a drugs bust went wrong, Detroit undercover cop Nick Tellis (Jason Patric) is persuaded back to help uncover the murderers of a fellow officer. He is teamed up with the dead officer's partner, Henry Oak (Ray Liotta), who seems to work on his own violent agenda. As the duo become more involved in the complex trail to the murderers, they find their lives are being ruled by the crime; Tellis begins to ignore his wife and newborn baby, and Oak becomes even more volatile.