In "Narc", Liotta plays the ruthless cop Henry Oak, a very complex character: Oak may be a fascist and a racist, but he has his principles, and even though he may be one of the hardest hard-asses around and has no problems with breaking the law for the sake of hurting people who, in his opinion, are bad, he is still a person.
Liotta makes Oak come alive and a character which in the hands of a lesser actor might have been portrayed as a total nihilist becomes one that you on one hand hate and on the other hand admire. In my book this is Ray Liotta's best performance ever, he also gained 25 lb. for it to give Oak a look that says "Try see if you dare hit me!". All thanks can't go to Liotta though, as Joe Carnahan has done an excellent job with writing the script.
Jason Patric also delivers a tremendous portrait of a haunted cop. A character that is maybe not as complex as the one of Oak, but on the other hand more likable.
The movie itself is a cold, brutal story about an unsolved cop killing, a twisted plot and some interesting characters makes it even more intriguing. This move owe a lot to classic cop-on-the-edge movies like "The French Connection", but it has a different vibe which somewhat resembles the manic and frantic atmosphere that is evident in "Se7en". Production wise you can see that it ran on a tight budget, as many of the shots are done either inside or on desolate locations, on the other hand why would you need a lot of flashy scenery to make a movie such as this? Also, the absence of it makes this movie feel even grittier.
People in this movie all seem to work for their own cause with little respect for others. Every being in this world seems corrupt in some way, except those who decide to leave it. Pessimistic? Yes. Fitting? Very fitting indeed.
Word has it that the movie ran out of funding when it was just half-made and that Patric and Liotta actually worked for free, when you watch the way they act you can tell that they would probably even have paid to make it.
This is a movie that i would recommend to anyone who feels the world is a bit to cute, turn this on and you'll instantly be transported to a world where the masks are dropped: peoples greed and egoism is no longer hidden, it's all right there before your bleeding eyes.
Note: I may have said that Busta Rhymes was "the worst rapper gone actor ever", but he revives himself here and does a pretty good role.