Wednesday, July 18, 2007

NARC

Released: January 10, 2003
Reviewed: July 11, 2007
Rated: B


The scholarly term is “color semiotics.” It’s the intentional mood-setting based solely on the adding or reducing of a particular hue. Got apprehension and sorrow? Cue the reds. Need excitement or obsession? A splash of yellow should do the trick. This well-paced cop drama is cold and blows tension like a January chill across Lake Erie; varying shades of blue are the only tones that can properly set the atmosphere. A bleak Detroit is the only U.S. metropolis capable of backdropping a world of drug abuse and a cop’s mysterious death. The underrated Ray Liotta and the overly-coifed Jason Patrick are two authorities paired to solve their comrade’s murder. Patrick’s flawed-but-functional character seemingly wants answers more than Liotta’s. But in director Joe Carnahan’s worlds (Ticker, Smokin’ Aces), things don’t always emerge the way you’d expect. Still, by the time the credits roll here, you’ll know that you’ve found an overlooked cinematic treasure—even if there isn’t any gold tinting on the screen to indicate as much. –DW

2 comments:

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