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Tattle tales

After failing to get to the theater in time to see Catch Me If You Can, my brother and I settled on Narc. It was really good; Joe Carnahan, the director, wanted to make a 70s cop movie and he succeeded.

The plot’s complex enough to be interesting and not entirely obvious, but not so unwieldy that it gets in the way of either the psychological tension or the action. I was a little worried that it would veer into a moralistic frenzy, always a danger in a movie that has so much to do with drugs, but nope. The acting’s excellent. Ray Liotta put on thirty pounds to play his role and it worked perfectly.

The directing — I said before that it was a 70s cop movie, but actually it’s not. It’s more as if Hollywood had been refining and developing the 70s cop movie ever since. Carnahan has a big bag of cinematographic tricks, and uses them with skill. There’s one exceedingly eloquent split screen moment that I won’t spoil, but it took my breath away. Confident and daring work.

Recommendation: see it before it vanishes from theaters.

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