FEATURES : COLUMNS : REVIEWS : NEWS : FILM & TV : FORUMS : UGO

ABOUT




New Doc Ock Hits Spider-Man
Have you seen the new Doctor Octopus, designed by fan-favorite artist Humberto Ramos? Click to dig the Doc.
Marvel Hires New Publisher
Following such rumors, Marvel today announced that Bill Jemas has been replaced as Publisher. Now read who took his job.
CrossGen's Solus #7
CrossGen thinks you'll love George Pťrez's new issue of Solus. And to prove it, here's a five-page preview.
Marvel Searches For She-Hulk
Writer Geoff Johns and artist Scott Kolins reunite for Marvel's Avengers as they search for She-Hulk.
Virtex Returns For Digital Webbing
A comic about a cybernetic cowboy that hunts outlaws riding dinosaurs? Where do we sign up? Read on and find out.
Marvel's Mutants Gains New Penciler
Marvel's New Mutants has a new artist onboard, and we've got a five-page preview. See if he's got the chops.
Image Rocks Out With Shangri-La
Are you ready to rock and roll? Image is, with their upcoming graphic novel Shangri-La. Read the details here.
Marvel Teams Up For A Good Cause
Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk team up for charity in a special December one-shot. Read all about it.
Davis' Marquis Returns In December
Guy Davis' sin-slayer is back in The Marquis: Intermezzo, coming from Oni Press. Read all about it.
Marvel Unveils '04 FF Plans
Marvel plans three Fantastic Four series for 2004, and we've got the details and preview art. Check this out.
2F2F DVD Contest
The hit street racing film 2 Fast 2 Furious is driving to DVD players near you. Win a free copy from Slush and Universal.
 








Movie Review:
Narc
By Matt Singer

01.20.03


That stuff Iím picking out my teeth isnít whatís leftover from dinner; itís some of the grittiness from Narc that I canít seem to shake. This movie is dark, shaded in deep blues and greens so that the on-screen blood (of which there is a healthy amount) ends up looking almost black. Everybodyís beating the tar out of everybody, cops, drug dealers, hoods; if someone appears on screen, thereís a good chance theyíll have bled at least once before the movieís over. Numerous times, the black blood comes shooting out of people like a a freshly-tapped oil rig. Police Academy this ainít.


Article continued below advertisement


A small movie given a larger-than-normal release, Narc was made on the cheap in Toronto and Detroit by director Joe Carnahan (Blood, Guts, Bullets, & Octane). The finished film was shown to the right people, cause eventually it got bought from original distributor Lions Gate Films by Paramount, who are releasing the film along with executive producer Tom Cruise (one of those ďright peopleĒ). William Friedkin, who made cop movie classic The French Connection called Narc ďthe best cop movie ever made.Ē Iím not sure about that (L.A. Confidential is no slouch), but itís a pretty intense thriller.

Jason Patric, whom I will never again mock for appearing in Speed 2: Cruise Control, plays Sgt. Nick Tellis, an undercover cop who opens the movie in a mad foot chase with a junkie brandishing needles of drugs against innocent bystanders. As Tellis chases the perp, the cameraman hoofs it to, in a shot that could best be described as Anti-Steadicam. If you get motion-sick really easy you might want to arrive a few minutes late to the movie.

Months later, Tellis is reassigned to take a case involving a murdered cop and his overly aggressive partner, Lt. Oak (Ray Liotta). Tellis does not want to go out in the field again after that drug bust fiasco, but he is offered a cushy job if he closes the stagnant case. Despite the protests of his wife (Krista Bridges), he is soon bracing suspects and digging through paperwork, searching for those answers that only really tortured, soulful cops seem to be able to find. Patric is really good in this role - though Liotta has been getting a lot of the press, itís really Patric who brings me into the world of Narc with tortured eyes and a lifetime of sadness in his voice.

Both lead cops are a little too good at their jobs, and the movieís most frequent theme is the conflict between wives and their cop husbands. Carnahan (who also wrote the film) seems convinced that effective cops and married ones do not mix - Oak tells an interesting story about losing his wife and his improved job performance. Carnahan gives the quieter scenes some elegant visuals; in one shot, Tellis sits at home, staring at a bulletin board of crime scene photos as his wife walks by, in some slinky underwear and completely out-of-focus; a beautiful representation of his state of mind. Thatís some smart direction.

You might need the plot explained to you at the end, but itís worth nothing that once you straighten all that stuff out, the finaleís numerous twists are completely believable within the confines of the structure Carnahan has established. Thereís even an ambiguous ending, which is satisfying in some aspects but not in others.

Narc is a movie that has all the basics right: a sturdy plot, terrific acting, juicy visuals, and twists like a pretzel. Carnahan, who has only directed one previous feature, has made a very solid movie with near perfect pacing; after the initial jolts, each scene feels just a little bit tenser than the last until a final showdown in a chop shop that will have you white knuckled and going ďIs that Busta Rhymes?Ē (Answer: yes!) Carnahan has a very promising future, and Liotta and Patric have reestablished themselves as actors who can add pathos and emotion to action movies. They kick ass because they care.


Read reviews of:
Gangs of New York
Chicago
Antwone Fisher
About Schmidt
Catch Me If You Can
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Adaptation
Extreme Ops
Solaris

 

 
E-Mail Author  |  Archive  |  Tell A Friend

 

 



 
Sword of Dracula
Slush launches our Halloween countdown with the first in a series of spooky reviews. First up? New series, Sword of Dracula.
John Byrne's IMO
This week John points out that fans cannot read the minds of creators, although you wouldn't know that by listening to some of them.
The Dead Zone
Flesh-eating zombies battle the last remaining police officer in Image's new series, The Walking Dead. We review the first issue.
Steve Niles Interview
Slush interviews Steve Niles, the acclaimed writer of 30 Days of Night, who tells us about the relaunch of Fused.
A Spidery Preview
Have you seen the new Doctor Octopus, designed by fan-favorite artist Humberto Ramos? Click to dig the Doc.
Kill Bill Review
Slush reviews the first installment of Quentin Tarantino's kung fu slasher masterpiece, Kill Bill.
Viper Interview
Slush takes a look at new publisher Viper Comics, and interviews the guys behind two of its hottest books.
Peanuts Collected
Cartoon fans rejoice. Fantagraphics is reprinting the entire collection of Charles Schulz' Peanuts. Read on for details.


CHANNELS:  Features | Columns | Reviews | News | Film & TV | Forums | Slushfactory.com

Copyright © 2003 Slush Factory Entertainment (E-mail)
All Rights Reserved : No portion of Slush may be reprinted in any form without prior consent