Out on Blu-ray on May 21, 2024, from Arrow Video   

A Narcotics undercover agent who left the field gets pulled back in when the investigation of a policeman’s murder hits a standstill.  

Written and directed by Joe Carnahan, Narc is a gritty look on the life of a narcotics agent who has had it rough and made a few questionable decisions who then finds himself involved in an investigation somewhat against his will. The writing here is solid with well-developed, interesting characters, as well as a story that grabs you out of the gate and does not let you go until the very end. The film is one of those well-written, well-directed, and well-done on just about every single level. The work by Carnahan here shows talent and dedication to the story on his second feature film as a director and an early feature as a writer.  

The cast here is fantastic with Jason Patrick in the lead, giving a performance that is right for the part and the film, as well as one that almost feels like soul connection to his character in Rush, a further development of the part or an alternate universe sort of thing. His work here is powerful and involved in the performance in the best of ways. Top-billed here is Ray Liotta who plays a detective and does so in that Liotta way fans know and love, fully immersing himself into the part, while still being Liotta. Behind these two is a supporting cast that knows how to bring characters to life, how to add to the story at hand, and how to make a film more than a simple story.  

Surrounding these folks is the work of cinematographer Alex Nepomniaschy who frames and shoots each scene carefully, giving the film its look and its mood, making the grittiness of the story a visual one without going full on grit with tons of grain in the image. The choices made in lighting and in framing here show a knowledge of the work and an understanding of what is needed for a film to work on all levels.  

The new release from Arrow Video reviewed here has a solid transfer that shows Nepomniaschy’s work beautifully well, with just the right despair and sadness to it all. The new transfer shows the images clearly, keeping the look of the film as it was shot while making it just that much better. The sound is on point as well, taking advantage of the Dolby Atmos format.  

In terms of extras, there are a ton on here, with some of them being 4K exclusives. The most interesting ones may be the vintage (yes, 2002 is over 20 years ago, so these are vintage) featurettes, most of them being promotional ones shot back in the day. The archival commentary by Joe Carnahan and John Gilroy is a big plus here. The new artwork is solid and feels mostly appropriate for the film. The many interviews with folks involved in making the film make this a must-buy set for anyone who is a fan of Narc.