After Katrina, police sergeant Terence McDonagh rescues a prisoner, hurts his back in the process and earns a promotion to lieutenant plus an addiction to cocaine and painkillers. Six months later, a family is murdered over drugs; Terence runs the investigation. His drug-using prostitute girlfriend, his alcoholic father's dog, run-ins with two old women and a well-connected john, gambling losses, a nervous young witness, and thefts of police property put Terence's job and then his life in danger. He starts seeing things. He wants a big score to get out from under mounting debts, so he joins forces with drug dealers. The murders remain unsolved. A bad lieutenant gets worse. Written by
One thing you can always count on when you go into a Werner Herzog movie is that you can always expect to find a story surrounding a very bizarre individual. With Bad Lieutenant, I saw both Herzog and Nicholas Cage in a new light, or rather a new darkness. Labeled as a black comedy, there should be more emphasis on 'black' than on 'comedy'. The film bears a strong resemblance to the thematically surreal and contrived nature of a Coen Brothers film, but the difference is that this one is more character driven than plot driven. More specifically, this is a film that lives on one performance. Nicholas Cage for the first time in a while has done something worthy of recognition, possibly even award worthy.
He plays New Orleans cop Terence McDonagh, recently promoted to Lieutenant. The film follows his latest homicide investigation. Due to a back problem and a drug addiction he is grumpy and unstable. He is sort of an anti- American hero, and the film concludes on a very bizarre note but clever anti- conventional/Hollywood manner.
Though not Herzog's best, it is certainly one worth watching. With each film I see from him, past or present he continues to intrigue me, but I think in this case, it might be Nicholas Cage who deserves the most credit.
124 of 208 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?