Fear City evaluation: Netflix’s slick and stylish doc is more than a gripping real-life version of The Wire


There’s one thing extremely gripping about tales of the Mafia. Take a look at the success of gangsters in popular culture and you’ll see we positively love them – the likes of The Godfather, Goodfellas and Peaky Blinders set the precedent for gritty, hard-hitting and charming sequence. Solely final 12 months, Netflix made their approach into the mob world with The Irishman.

Now, they’ve mixed this obvious ardour for the Mafia with their talent for producing slick and fascinating documentaries with Fear City: New York vs The Mafia.

The documentary – from the makers of Don’t F*** With Cats – centres itself on the FBI mission to close down The 5 Households of New York City within the 1970s and 1980s. Then, mobsters dominated everything of the Huge Apple for years, however particularly, these twenty years had been the height of the Italian American dynasties.

The tense three-parter begins with the FBI wanting effectively behind the instances, struggling to even arrest simply the troopers, not to mention the bosses or the underbosses of large legal households.

However that each one modified with the RICO principle. Professor G. Robert Blakey lectures on the idea in Cornell College and instructed the FBI to think about every household as an organisation – to get the boss, you’d have to shut the enterprise down.

Thus, 5 forces had been established to strive and take The 5 Households down – all on the identical time. The consequence of which turned the true life version of The Wire.

And the documentary is simply as slick because the famend HBO sequence. Intercut with unseen FBI footage, the sequence follows a tight timeline the place we meet totally different cops from throughout the operation and study their in-depth expertise on the case – at one level, we even see footage of The Black Bag Man becoming a cellphone bug in a Gambino captain’s home whereas the goal hovers over him ominously.

The (fairly literal) Wire references don’t simply cease there, Fear City even goes as far as to have a catchy theme tune – Arduous Instances by Child Huey and The Child Sitters, to be exact. We see the FBI placing The Wire’s surveillance techniques into motion – although of course one should remind one’s self this got here earlier than the HBO sequence.

All through the course of the three-part sequence, you shortly realise that the organised crime occurring in New York City goes approach past one household – get The Fee and crumble the entire gang. And that’s simply what Rudy Giuliani did.

Fear City is very a lot a hero’s story – gone are the glamorous rapscallions from Peaky Blinders, who all the time appear to come back out on high. Enter: the investigators who tried each trick beneath the solar to place an finish to the reign of terror looming over NYC.

What could possibly be a same-old police procedural, Fear City places the viewer straight within the coronary heart of the case, inspecting images, video footage and wire recordings that really feel very current and give the phantasm you’re on the case. It’s all very riveting and thrilling considering you’re on to the largest case New York has ever confronted.

Anybody with a gentle curiosity within the Mafia will discover this important viewing, but it surely’s additionally one other wonderful Netflix documentary, following a line of profitable wins for the streaming large. What’s most spectacular is Netflix’s capacity to seize a style you didn’t know you had for a theme, delve proper into the depths of the subject and leaves you with a totally whetted urge for food.

Fear City has “water cooler” written throughout it – it’s simply a disgrace we will’t collect spherical one for a good previous gossip on Cosa Nostra.

Fear City: New York vs The City is now accessible to stream on Netflix. On the lookout for one thing else to look at? Try our information to the greatest TV sequence on Netflix and greatest films on Netflix, or go to our TV Information.


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