Nick Tellis (Jason Patrick) is an undercover narcotics officer who is placed on suspension after a shootout with a dealer gone very wrong. He is brought back to active duty to shadow another officer who might have had something to do with the death of his partner.
Henry Oak (Ray Liotta) is a short tempered renegade cop intent to find out who killed his partner. AS they start to dig deeper into the life of Oak’s partner we find that things are not as they may seem. We see some intere…ting camera work with a four panel scene as they start to ask around on the streets for details of what went wrong.
Jason Patrick and Ray Liotta turn two very powerful performances as we see them try to balance their very demanding and emotionally involving with their personal lives and families. They are some very good twists in this dark gritty tale of cops and their lives.
This is a gritty story about life as a cop and the video quality matches. The Film has two distinct looks, when we are with Nick Tellis at home we have a warm look and feel to the video and when he is out on the street things are cold and blue looking. The film has a somewhat gritty look with muted colors and inky blacks. The transfer is well done and presented in a 1.85:1 Anamorphic widescreen format with only slight amounts of edge enhancement and no debris. The menus are very nice and of the animated and scored variety.
For audio we have a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track that is of slightly above average quality. The front channels are well used with a nice wide image that extends past the front speakers, dialogue and as this is a largely dialogue driven film is easily understood throughout. The rear channels are used subtly for ambience and are well done, when you go form inside a building to out in the street there is this definite feeling of a space differential and likewise when entering a building from outside. Bass is not heavily used throughout the film but when called for is somewhat boomy sounding. The score is almost non-existent which simply adds to the dry and realistic feel of the film. Also included is a French 5.1 audio track and English subtitles.
This film has a nicely rounded set of extra features that almost seems to come off as a short course in filmmaking 101. We start things off with a good informative commentary by director Joe Carnahan and editor John Gilroy.
Then we have three making of documentaries entitled Making the Deal, Shooting Up and The Visual Trip that take us through the filming process from the beginning and show how even after they began filming they where never sure if this film was ever going to get finished, up to the film being seen and championed by Tom Cruise and eventually picked up for distribution by Paramount pictures.
We next see a featurette with Alan Friedkin (The director of The French Connection) who inspired Joe Carnahan to become a filmmaker and it offers a unique perspective on the film. Things are rounded out with the theatrical trailer for Narc and previews for The Italian Job, Tomb Raider 2, Timeline, The Hunted and The Core.
The film that Narc will be most compared to is Training Day as they are both films that deal with police corruption and try to show the connection betweens cops and there lives. I think that Narc is a better written and acted film then Training Day, Ray Liotta is absolutely mesmerizing and scary in his very realistic and raw portrayal of Henry Oak. Jason Patrick turns in his best performance to date as Nick Tellis and shows the emotional struggle of a cop obsessed with his job and trying to balance it with his personal life. Throw in a fantastic special features package and you have one of my favorite new films. Highly Recommended!
Special Features List
- Commentary by writer/director Joe Carnahan and editor John Gilroy
- Narc: Making the Deal
- Narc: Shooting Up
- Narc: The Visual Trip
- The Friedkin Connection
- Theatrical trailer