Carnahan's writing and direction are tight and urgent, grabbing us by the lapels and thrusting our faces into the grimy underbelly of the Detroit drug world (although it was filmed in Toronto). It's pretty gruesome stuff, forcing us to catch our breaths more than once. And it's also extremely well acted by Patric, who played a similar character in 1991's Rush, and especially Liotta, who plays the burly Oak way against type. The storyline itself is clever and inventive, right down to the final surprise. On the other hand, this is a cop movie, so it has to adhere to certain rules. At the beginning we have some hope that Carnahan will flout the traditions and give us something new and unexpected, and for the first half of the film it indeed keeps us nicely off-balance, focusing on the characters. Then the plot takes over and diverts our attention. Still, it looks fantastic (none of that anonymous Hollywood slickness here!), and with performances this interesting, it's definitely a cut above almost everything else in the genre at the moment.
dir-scr Joe Carnahan|
with Jason Patric, Ray Liotta, Chi McBride, Busta Rhymes, Richard Chevolleau, Krista Bridges, Anne Openshaw, Tony DeSantis, Alan Van Sprang, Dan Leis, John Ortiz, Carson Durven
release US 20.Dec.02; UK 7.Feb.03
Armed to the teeth. Henry and Nick (Liotta and Patric) prepare to finally nab the culprits...
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