Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
Terence McDonagh is a drug- and gambling-addled detective in post-Katrina New Orleans investigating the killing of five Senegalese immigrants.Terence McDonagh is a drug- and gambling-addled detective in post-Katrina New Orleans investigating the killing of five Senegalese immigrants.Terence McDonagh is a drug- and gambling-addled detective in post-Katrina New Orleans investigating the killing of five Senegalese immigrants.
**** (out of 4)
When it was announced that Werner Herzog would be remaking Abel Ferrara's 1992 film there was all sort of outrage with fans asking how anyone could remake a film as far "out there" as that. I think most of these complaints were from people who didn't know Herzog because if you did know his work you'd know he wouldn't just simply remake something. As was expected, this version has very little to nothing to do with the 1992 film so people can walk into this expecting something original. The film follows a simple storyline of a Lieutenant (Nicolas Cage) who is investigating the execution deaths of five people, including kids. He begins cracking down on known drug dealers in the area but he's also doing battle with his prostitute girlfriend (Eva Mendes) as well as his drug addiction to cocaine and heroine that is getting bigger by the hour. It's funny but the screenplay to this film probably would have fallen through the cracks had someone like Herzog not been behind the camera. That's not to say this is a bad screenplay but the entire investigation and all the side plots are pretty basic but it's thanks to Herzog's vision and Cage's performance that this film will go down as the wacky, over the top ride that it is. I didn't find the film flawless like some as a good ten minutes could have been cut out of the second act but the film is still very impressive. The important thing to remember going into the film is that you're about to see a very dark comedy so I guess one could call this the greatest comedy ever made about a drug-addict cop. Cage is what makes the movie because his performance here will rank as one of the greatest of his career. I think it has become easy to make fun of Cage and throw cheap insults at him but it's important to remember that when he's on fire he usually can't be touched by anyone and that's certainly the case here. Is he over the top? Sure but he's suppose to be. His performance is so dead on that you can help but look at him and feel that you're really seeing someone going through a major addiction. Cage's entire body seems to change shape throughout the movie as he grows more and more sick. The way Cage laughs at someone being called "G" is just priceless as is a terrific scene between he and an iguana. The supporting cast is very impressive as well with Mendes turning in a fine performance as the drugged out hooker, Val Kilmer as a psycho cop, Fairuza Balk as another cop and the always reliable Brad Dourif as a bookie. Herzog's vision is all over this thing and I really loved the overall look of the movie. I loved how the start of the film has the camera constantly moving, which to me was to imply the state that Cage's character was in with all the drugs. The film is a dark comedy and for the most part both Herzog and Cage go full steam to bring out the laughs and this includes a hilarious sequence with a couple old ladies with one on oxygen and others with Cage seeing things that aren't really there. The terrific cinematography and nice music score also add a great deal as do the worn down streets from the post Katrina days. This certainly isn't among the director's greatest works but it's still something very fresh and original and it really stands out compared to the other type of films being released today.
- Feb 13, 2010