Film review

Narc

OPENED JANUARY 31, CERT 18, 102 MINS

Director Joe Carnahan's follow-up to his micro-budget debut Blood, Guts, Bullets & Octane throws you right into the thick of things, with a breathless handheld camera following undercover cop Tellis (Jason Patric) as he chases a drug dealer. This nerve-jangling prologue ends in a tragedy that sees our man suspended from duty and the audience plunged into a world of cop-movie clichés:Tellis is interrogated by Internal Affairs, is given a chance to save his career, argues with his wife about going back on the streets, and eventually partners dangerously driven detective Oak (Ray Liotta) to hunt down a cop-killer.

While there's some pleasure to be had in going through classic police-procedural motions—especially when they've been given the surface style of '70s classics like The French Connection—Carnahan's film doesn't take us anywhere new. Muscle past the digital effects, arcane street lingo and gritty urban action and all that's left is two intense, bulky men with moustaches bellowing exposition at each other in a warehouse. These boys need to calm down...

Rating: 2 / 10


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Very taken with Africa Express' version of "In C", by Terry Riley, this week. I have a few takes on the piece (50 years old this month, incidentally), the latest being one by Portishead's Adrian Utley from a couple of years back, though I still probably default to what I think is the original...