Starting with an invigorating opening foot chase recalling William Friedkin, Joe Carnahan's Narc is masterful. It jump-started his career, a director that I would not only say has become a sublime man's man director-- using Walter Hill's forceful style and swiftness with Sam Peckinpah's grimy masculinity and violence-- but is still one of the few post-1999 American mainstream director's that I even give a damn about.
Along with Carnahan's "The Grey," "Narc" is probably one of the most under-appreciated films out there. This is the sort of deadly-serious crime drama the director should've become known for. Moody lighting, vigorous, gritty set-pieces and my favorite performance of Ray Liotta's to date make this one for the books.
NARC has one of the most intense opening chases I've seen in a movie in recent memory. Carnahan has crafted a thriller that works in the vein of crime films by guys like William Friedkin (who talks about the film on the DVD incidentally). It's an overlooked gem with great performances, even if it does end a bit too quickly.
This film needs more recognition. I was totally blown away by the opening scene, and also by Ray Liotta's high class performance. The other things I like about the film are the stark editing,especially when the duo sets out for their investigation, and the 'theatrical' appearance brought out through its cinematography.
Carnahan opens the film with a rousing chase scene setting the tone for a noteworthy neo-noir. The second act loses steam when we miss out on the opportunity to wholly examine our lead characters past, guilt, and motivations. Where the second act slides, the third act flourishes. The audience lives within both characters moral quandaries as Carnahan frames each account of the murder with conceivability and suspicion.
Saw this movie on my 20th birthday and it blew me away. After learning this film was made for only 4 million dollars I was very impressed. It is a great portrayal of the toll taken on the family life of a Cop working a very consuming case.