Saturday, January 8, 2011
Written & Directed By: Joe Carnahan
Cinematography By: Alex Nepomniaschy
Editor: John Gilroy
CAST: Ray Liotta, Jason Patric, Busta Rhymes, Chi McBride, John Ortiz, Stacey Farber
This is a film with something a little different a police thriller that uses experimental camera work in some scenes not only to help tell the story but to heighten it. The film starts off with a jump start to the system as we are literally in the middle of a chase scene. Done all in P.O.V. shots, Why and who we are following is not clear at first later the details are filled in.
The key plot to this film is trying to figure out the mystery of who killed a undercover cop as a current undercover Narc Played by Jason Patric is paired off with a volatile detective Henry Oak Played by Ray Liotta. Who lives up to his reputation for viciousness, toughness and physical stature. He is also the ex-partner of the murdered man.
The story keep taking the requisite twists and turns to a surprising ending but I must say this is one of the best and most realistic police thrillers I have seen in awhile. Ever since seeing the film THE FRENCH CONNECTION which this film partly reminds me of, it’s that good. The acting is the cornerstone of this film. Busta Rhymes has a small role in this film which has got to be the best acting he will probably ever due. Jason Patric is good he’s a strange actor he seems to pop up every few years in a strange role do exceptional work then instead of cash in on that momentum to get his choice of roles he just disappears. Ray Liotta is amazing he was definitely robbed of a Oscar nomination with this role everytime he is on screen you watch with wonder from his violent entrance until the end of the film. There isn’t a false note in his performance showing how truly underrated he is as a actor. He gives this character a violent temper but also a surprising tender side.
Anytime Ray Liotta works with Director Joe Carnahan he seems to make a impression and he makes his presence felt. Which goes to show how noteworthy he is even though Jason Patric is good. Ray Liotta’s performance hovers over his and almost makes you forget he was even in the film. Which is a good thing because both Harrison Ford and Alec Baldwin considered taking the role.
This movie which has over 21 producers is a marvel. A undiscovered gem that didn’t get the publicity it deserved. The film was almost shut down many times due to budget concerns, But it paid off in the end. Tom Cruise after seeing it added his name as Executive producer to help it get more publicity. It cemented Joe Carnahan’s talent as a visual director and a gritty compelling screenwriter. This is one you should rush out and get as soon as possible if you haven’t already.