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:: Narc

This film will inevitably be compared to Training Day, but it’s better, and had it come out earlier, Training Day wouldn’t even have reached the radar. Jason Patric (The Lost Boys) and Ray Liotta (Goodfellas) give the performances of their careers as narcotics cops out to solve the murder of one of their own. Liotta is almost unrecognisable in a goatee and ten or so extra kilos. Patric is reprising a similar role to the one he played in Rush but he is supremely sympathetic when he has no reason to be. They’re almost the typical young cop teamed up with older cop combination, but Patric is no ingénue, he has baggage and torment to spare. There’s no ‘good cop’ in this duo.

This could easily have been Law and Order territory but the harshly poetic and full throttle style of writer/director Joe Carnahan keeps you involved even during some of the dodgy exposition and sentiment. It was reminiscent of Michael Mann’s Heat, only much dirtier and rougher.

The opening sequence will probably be much talked about in reviews but it’s best to see it with no idea what to expect. The rest of the film is a little more predictable, particularly with the scared wife at home who just wants her husband to quit the dangerous police work and look after her and their baby. It’s handled well, but it is what it is.

Rapper Busta Rhymes makes an appearance, as most rappers do, as a drug dealer who gets on the wrong end of Ray Liotta’s fury. It was shot in just twenty seven days, with a large percentage of hand held camera (in a good way) adding to the frantic feel of the film

Tom Cruise executive produced this picture, as well as Liotta, who knew a good role for himself when he saw it, and it’s a likely candidate for some Oscar nominations when the time comes.