Bad cop, no doughnut
Bad cop, no doughnutThe Movie DetectiveBy Nickey HernandezMention the term "narc," and I’m likely to recoil in fear, then bolt for the bathroom to flush my stash.When I think narc, I think cheese-eating, double-crossing mother f-er. I think about a back-stabbing bastard, who’d rat out a cellmate for snoring,or finger a pal for whiffing wacky weed.Worse yet, narcs are born hypocrites. Most undercover drug cops dip into the illegal goodies when the mood strikes. Before you know it, these covert cops are strung out, edgy and liable to reach for a shotgun at any given moment.That is how things go down in Narc, an edgy, raw and sharp film that takes a hard, vicious and extremely intense look at the unseemly doings of an undercover operation gone terribly wrong.The result is a spatter pattern of action that erupts when the chief character, Nick Tellis, (Jason Patric) an overly aggressive undercover cop, goes ballistic on a homicidal junkie.We’re introduced to Tellis’s tightly wound character in the film’s opening seconds when he pursues a druggie. The entire foot chase is seen through a jittery hand-held camera that follows the cop over fences and down alleys as the pursuit intensifies.We see the junkie grab a bystander and slice open the victim’s throat. The civilian dies gurgling on the street as Tellis races past, firing away at the fleeing suspect.The capture ends with graphic gore when the cop blows away the bandit but nails a pregnant bystander as well.Intense does not begin to describe the high voltage start to this gripping portrait of cops working on their 29th nervous breakdown.Despite his foolhardy gunplay, Tellis is granted a reprieve provided he teams with Det. Henry Oak, another over-the-edge officer played brilliantly by Ray Liotta. The two are unleashed to find the dudes who whacked a fellow undercover Detroit cop.Together, Tellis and Oak make a potent pair. Both know how to "knuckle down" on a suspect to extract a confession. But it is Oak who makes his partner look like a tenderfoot.Oak is a man with too many issues for the streets. Seems he went balls-out crazy years ago after he busted a man for pimping out a 10-year-old stepdaughter. Oak gave the Constitution the day off then dialed up some street justice on the stepdad’s sick ass.Most guys would have left the force after that incident and joined the Bush administration, but Oak hung around, his short fuse ready to blow anew.Oak is the kind of detective who considers probable cause a practical joke.Warrant, he don’t need no stinking warrant, not as long as he’s got two fists and a loaded shotgun."F the booking," Oak screams at two handcuffed suspects he has just beaten to a pulp. "Talk or you go out in a bag. There are no lawyers here, just you and me and I’m in your s___ for the duration."When Tellis momentarily balks at his partner’s interrogation techniques, Oak tells him to stuff his "liberal stirrings."Oak is not exactly the kind of officer the Warren Court had in mind when it made Miranda the law of the land. He may, however, be the perfect nominee for Supreme Court Justice once Bush wins a second term.Until next time, Mr. Hernandez has left the theater to round up the usual suspects.Nickey Hernandez is a former private investigator who frequently uses thumb screws and rubber hoses to get at the truth.