There are only a handful of cop movies that I could call out as being succesful. The early 2000's gave us two of them- Training Day and Narc.
The latter being entrenched in gritty realism and bolstering Liotta's best performance since GoodFellas. Joe Carnahan's script splinters apart the good cop/bad cop genre and infuses it with a befitting punch-to-the-gut style not seen since the grimy tenacity of To Live and Die In L.A. It feels like modern Friedkin but on speed. This all points to the opening scene.
Narc's quick and sudden bursts of violence right off the bat arrive like a shotgun blast to the face of an unsuspecting drug addict. The ability for Carnahan to sustain it all and propel the movie to it's visceral conclusion shows that in 2002, this was a director who had promise. I just wish he had lived up to that promise on subsequent pictures.