Despite his wifes concerns about his mental stability if he goes back undercover, Tellis teams up with Oak, whose heavy-handed, and often brutal style, is difficult for Tellis to handle. Still, somehow the two men begin to work together, chasing down leads, tracking informants and finally zeroing in on two primary suspects, drug dealers Beery (Busta Rhymes) and Steeds (Richard Chevolleau), who operate out of a grimy Detroit chop shop.
As Oak browbeats Beery and Steeds for a confession, the true story of how the young officer was killed slowly comes into focus
and the truth is nothing less than shocking.
Inspired by a critically acclaimed documentary, The Thin Blue Line, about an actual slaying of a Dallas police officer in 1976, writer/director Joe Carnahan first developed Narc in 1994 as a short film entitled Gun Point. But the young filmmaker still had a fascination for the subject and wanted to expand the 30-minute short into a feature film that could delve deeper into a complicated murder investigation.
The story just stuck with me, remembers Carnahan. It had a resonance that I really wanted to go back to, which is rare for me. In fact, usually I write something and its out of my system, but in this particular case, I felt there were things worth mining cinematically.
Expanding Gun Point into Narc and developing it into a film in which a very dark event slowly comes to light from different points of view, Carnahan set his story in the mean streets of Detroit and centered it around a disgraced police officer who makes his way through the gritty drug underworld in search of not only the truth about what happened to the slain officer, but also his own inner truth.
I was just blown away by the script, says Ray Liotta, who was looking for a quality screenplay to begin his venture into producing. I loved the way it leads you in different directions. Its structured in such a way that it kept me guessing so that I never saw the end coming.
Liotta adds that he also liked the depth that Carnahan wrote into each character. Both Tellis and Oak, are such complicated souls, and actors just dont come across roles like these very often, says Liotta. Too many characters are written as either black or white, but these guys have a lot of underlying gray to them that makes them more real.
According to Carnahan, none of his characters are exactly who they appear to be on the surface because people in real life are holding in a lot of emotions.
Nick Tellis, for example, is a very basic, decent man at heart, who is very troubled, says Carnahan. Like all of us at one time or another, he made a mistake, and now he has to live with it. He becomes a tortured soul, and Jason Patric portrays him with such an intensity and intelligence that I feel honored and flattered that he made this character a part of his body of work. Read On....