Narc  (5)

 Copyright © 2003 by Tony Medley


Narc is a police thriller with disgraced cop Nick Tellis (Jason Patric) and Lt. Harry Oak (Ray Liotta) trying to find out who killed Oak’s former partner, an undercover narc, like Tellis.  In so doing, they traffic in the dregs of society.  The locales are dirty, disgusting slums.  They find decaying bodies.  Stabbings are graphic.

 Director/writer Joe Carnahan seemingly can’t put a complete sentence together without using the “f” word.  Everyone uses it.  The film is further damaged by artsy cinematography, dim lighting, lots of extreme close-ups, jumpy cinema vérité, and the camera panning across writing, word by word, plus a soundtrack that often renders the dialogue hard to understand.  Adding to these is a script that’s difficult to follow.  That said, the acting is masterful.  It’s got a lot of action and the story is sufficiently complex so that you probably won’t figure it out.

 Maybe this is an accurate reflection of the way things are, but it’s not the way I want to be entertained.  This is a dark, depressing, excessively violent, profusely profane film, not for the squeamish or anyone who likes elevating entertainment.   

 January 10, 2003

 The End