Funded via Kickstarter, Narcopolis is a British-born science fiction thriller. Director Justin Trefgarne, with the aid of the general public, has managed to bring into life a film based in the UK that tries to be something vastly different to the usual period drama or mobster movie that usually comes out of our fair isle.
Narcopolis is a gritty mix of science fiction and crime thriller. We start proceedings in the year 2044, drugs have been made legal, cheap and safe, thanks to businessman Todd Ambro (Callis). We then move back in time twenty years (that’s 2024 to those bad at math) where we meet ‘Dreck’ Frank (Cowan). In this time line drugs are still legal and handled by the Ambro corporation, but we are much earlier into the culture. After an unidentified body lands in his district Frank becomes obsessed with unravelling the mystery.
The plot, which involves a few time hops during the runtime, is suitably noir-esque, with it’s fair share of twists and turns along the way. If you’re looking for a ‘disengage brain’ story then you might want to pass, however, should you want something a little more intellectual you can do much worse than Narcopolis. That being said, there are a few sub plots that don’t quite work, seemingly going nowhere and not adding anything, but taking time away from, the main story.
A futuristic science fiction is only ever as good as it’s technology and luckily for Narcopolis it has some believable pieces of kit such as a nifty portable DNA device. The re-thinking of narcotics is also interesting and has a definite neon candy vibe to them.
The most impressive element of Narcopolis has to be its cinematography. The vistas are both vibrant, clean and neon whilst also managing to be gritty, dirty and dark. It’s an odd juxtaposition that works to create a fully formed environment; these visuals are accompanied by a suitably futuristic and electronic score.
The overall feeling of Narcopolis is somewhere between Looper and Blade Runner. With its own vocabulary (Drecks etc), and a new spin on drugs, Narcopolis is sure to be a cult favourite in years to come.
Narcopolis releases in UK cinemas 25th September, and on DVD 28th September.