An undercover NARC agent wants to retire from his line of work but money hasn't lined up so he takes another case. The case calls for him to work with a police officer whose partner has recently been killed. He and his new partner investigate those responsible for the murder; however, in doing so, he may uncover the partner had a lot to do with the situation...
"Do you think it could have been prevented?"
"What could have been prevented?"
"The infant's death."
Joe Carnahan, director of Smokin' Aces, The Grey, The A-Team, and Stretch, delivers NARC. The storyline for this picture is very mediocre, predictable, and cliché for the genre. This didn't feel very original or clever. The acting and script are just okay and the cast includes Ray Liotta, Jason Patric, Alan Peterson, Chi McBride, Busta Rhymes, and Krista Bridges.
"Say fuck you again to me."
I randomly grabbed this off Netflix as a potential interesting action flick, and was disappointed. It was okay, but nothing special and fairly straightforward. I would honestly only watch this if you have nothing better to do.
"You're a good woman, baby!"
Narc ended up being a very familiar film. While it is certainly an enjoyable film, it does not really break too much new ground and therefore has limited value. It has a premise which is pretty thin, and everything is reliant on the skills of its actors to truly end up succeeding. The story in Narc is not all that consistently interesting because it largely feels routine, and although it has some good moments with some complicated twists and turns, it is little that viewers will not be ready for. I wasn't all that surprised by Narc, so it was not a great film.
But set in its formulaic roots, director Joe Carnahan manages to craft a film which mostly rises above the usual limits of a film like Narc. The fact is that although the story itself is not the most interesting, it is rich with powerful dialogue. The language in Narc is gritty and realistic which allows the actors to really give it their all with a rough edge, and that is exactly what ends up happening. Narc is more important for its characters than it is for its story, and luckily enough the characters are written to be deep and complex figures. Narc sets up a story about two characters which manages to overshadow the rest of it, and the script manages to do a lot to ensure that they are crafted well enough for the actors to bring them to life.
The visual style of Narc is powerful. The cinematography is never really stable and it reinforces the edgy atmosphere of the film without being too shaky for the viewer to be able to honestly comprehend what is going on. It is very well shot, and it always keeps things at the appropriate distances while adding atmosphere to the film. Even the colour palette of the film is great because it has many shades of grey to it which makes the mood of the film a lot grimmer. The crime world itself is very black and white, and that is what Narc projects. In doing so it manages to create an intense atmosphere which males the entire experience of Narc all the more powerful, and it plays out well. So Joe Carnahan manages to do a lot as director of Narc and although his story is not perfect, he manages to make it a compelling film by elevating it above the simple nature that it faces.
But quintessentially, all of the success in Narc rests on the quality of its two leading actors. The story itself is unlikely to amaze as it is familiar, but there is no denying the powerful performances of Jason Patric and Ray Liotta who both single handily manage to make Narc an entertaining film which was worth the viewing.
Jason Patric's leading performance in Narc is possibly the most powerful of his career. I mean the man will always have a place in my heart for his leading performance in The Lost Boys, but his leading performance in Narc is the most powerful adult role of his career. The former teenage star gives an amazing performance in Narc because he is electrifying with grit. He is constantly on edge and just sinks into the character so flawlessly that the edgy power of his performance is just impossible to ignore. He is a seriously sympathetic character and at the same time he is intimidating because of the unpredictable nature of him. At every moment, Jason Patric has the physicality which says that he is willing to stand up for himself yet he also has a clear inner torment and reluctance within him which proves to be holding him back in parts. The fact is that Jason Patric truly has the determination to prove himself in the role, the same way that his character has his own determination to prove himself, and the ambitions of both end up intertwining and creating a performance which is just truly unforgettable. I was blown away by the talents of Jason Patric in Narc, and he single handily makes the film very easy to recommend.
Ray Liotta is also spot on in Narc. His performance is clearly one of the best of his career because he is known for playing a gritty criminal figure in many films, most of the time in a supporting role, but in Narc he steps up to the lead and plays a sadistic and cruel police officer, a role he was born to play. He has proven many times that his best talent is portraying criminal figures, and in Narc he manages to step up that archetype even further and injects it into a powerful figure of corruption. Narc shows off the endeavour of Ray Liotta's true acting talents, and when he shares the screen with Jason Patric the two battle so hard to capture the interests of viewers that it is likely that people watching will find themselves tied into finding both characters equally interesting. That was the case with me, and I can seriously say that Ray Liotta has rarely given a performance better than he did in Narc. Narc features Ray Liotta's best talents, and he stands over many characters with powerful intimidation thanks to his brooding physicality and his shockingly powerful line delivery.
The chemistry between these two actors is also excellent because it is unpredictable and has them truly challenging each other. The kind of interactions between these two is very powerful, and shows what true acting is all about because the exchange between these two shows just how dedicated they are to the film.
So while Narc suffers from an overly familiar story which has been seen quite a few times, it serves as a medium for the true amazing acting talents of both Jason Patric and Ray Liotta which makes it entertaining, innovative and easy to recommend.