NARCOPOLIS

PrintE-mail Written by Joel Harley

The near future, England: Frank Grieves is a new kind of cop – a 'Dreck' – dedicated to keeping black market drugs off the streets while the licensed companies and dealers at legal high company Ambro get ever richer and more powerful. When Grieves stumbles across a strange new substance in an unidentified body, it becomes evident that a vast conspiracy is afoot.

An ambitious one, this, with shades of Looper and Repo Men to its grimy, plausible future. Elliot Cowan is well-cast as Grieves, our viewer identification figure in a world where drugs are (sort of) legal and dealers knock door-to-door in silly white hats giving free lollipops to kids. He's propped up by the likes of Jonathan Bathurst and Harry Lloyd, providing a British stiff upper lip contrast to the slums and druggies Grieves is normally surrounded by. Best of all, there's Jonathan Pryce in a small but pivotal role, stealing the show whenever he appears. Keep an eye out for Battlestar Galactica's Gaius Baltar too; for a relatively low-budget sci-fi, Narcopolis is remarkably well acted and cast.

Its sense of ambition also extends to the story and writing. Starting off with a strong concept – murder mystery in a future where drugs are legal – it goes to some admirably ambitious places from there (spoiler territory abounds). There isn't the budget for fancy effects or CGI, but it's supported by the visuals and action, all combining to make a well-realised, plausible and exciting world that Narcopolis does a great job of exploring.

Budget Brit sci-fi with a brain, Narcopolis will leave viewers buzzing, dazed and desperately jonesing for the next hit.

NARCOPOLIS / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: JUSTIN TREFGARNE / STARRING: ELLIOT COWAN, ELODIE YUNG, JONATHAN PRYCE, ROBERT BATHURST, HARRY LLOYD / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

 


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