Ben Sanderson, a Hollywood screenwriter who lost everything because of his alcoholism, arrives in Las Vegas to drink himself to death. There, he meets and forms an uneasy friendship and non-interference pact with prostitute Sera.
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
Nicolas Cage claims that he was never under the influence of anything throughout filming, in contrast to Leaving Las Vegas (1995) in which he got genuinely drunk to play an alcoholic. See more »
When Lieutenant McDonagh is driving with the witness to Biloxi he crosses the Mississippi River over the GNO bridge going the wrong direction. The view of the twin smoke stacks (also visible in Get Shorty) indicate he is heading to the west bank of the river. The only non-circuitous route back to the east bank would be via ferry routes that were not restored at that time and run through St Bernard Parish. See more »
Written by Andy Forest, Chaz Leary (as Charles Harold Leary), Roberto Luti
Published by Running Board Music LLC (ASCAP)
Performed by Chaz Leary (as Washboard Chaz) See more »
A film not made for everyone but worth watching if you are interested
Many will look at this and will think that it is an action thriller about a cop trying to solve the murders of 5 people in New Orleans and that is a basic idea of what the film is about. 'Trying' is right word to use; Nicolas Cage's characters is deeply flawed and is taking drugs to ease his back pain, which he got for saving a prisoner in a flooded prison. He has no interest in bringing the people responsible to justice.
It is difficult to describe what happens in the film because it is so different from other films that I have seen. If you have seen Werner Herzog's other films then you will like this maybe not as much as some of his other films but there is a lot to like. Nicolas Cage gives a fantastic performance and is clearly back on form after the likes of Next, National Treasure and The Wicker Man. The rest of the cast also do a good job but the focus is on Cage. The chosen location of New Orleans suits the film well and the cinematographer does a good job showing it. The script writer must also be credited for providing the film with interesting pieces of dialogue even though its difficult to tell what was improvised and what was not.
This film is not for everyone though since the trailer shows it as a more of an crime thriller than a drama. If you are not a fan of art house films or films that have an offbeat sense of humor then you might not enjoy it as much as those who do. Those who watch this film and liked it will be able to find plenty of things about the film that represent something else. There is clearly more to this film than what is happening on the surface.
If you do choose to watch this film then go in with an open mind as there is a lot to like but I can't guarantee that it will be for everyone.
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