Thursday, April 08, 2010

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

No vampires, werewolves, or singin’ and dancin’ chipmunks in this one. There are, however, a couple of alligators and some iguanas. And a lot of sex, violence, cussing, and general weirdness.

Nicolas Cage plays a cop who injures his back saving a prisoner from drowning during Hurricane Katrina. He’s kind of a sleazy character to start with, and when he’s given painkillers for his back, he becomes a drug addict. Plus he has a serious gambling problem, which gets him deeper and deeper in debt to some bad guys. From there, things spiral even more out of control as he starts investigating a series of drug-related murders.

As far as I know, this movie has no connection other than the title to the original BAD LIEUTENANT movie, which I haven’t seen. So it’s not really a sequel, I guess. It’s well-made, with a script that’s often harrowing and occasionally funny. Cage is in full-out goofy mode for much of the movie, which means he’s either brilliant or over-the-top hammy, or maybe both, depending on your point of view.

This is a pretty good film and worth watching, if you like grittier than usual cop movies with a few offbeat touches.


Chris said...

Looking forward to watching this, more as a Herzog fan than a Cage fan. I like Eva Mendes as well.

James, are you a Herzog fan at all?

Iren said...

I watched it last night-- liked it well enough, I don't know if it is as wonderfully crazy as some critics thought. I have seen the original Bad Lieutenant, which is I think crazier and I liked a bit better.

James Reasoner said...

After looking over Werner Herzog's credits on IMDb, I think this is the first film of his that I've seen. I have RESCUE DAWN around here somewhere on DVD but haven't watched it yet.

Bruce said...

James you really need to watch the films Herzog made with Klaus Kinski: Fitzcarralado and Aguirre The Wrath of God are my two recomendations. Then check out the documentry he made about their working relationship My Best Fiend. FANTASTIC, plus you see some of the scrapped footage from Fitzcarralado with Jason Robards and Mick Jgger in the staring roles.

Loved Bad Lt. its just a shame he got saddled with that title.

Chris said...

I second what Bruce said re: Herzog. I'd also like to add that "Grizzly Man" was an interesting documentary, as was his most recent trip to Antarctica, "Encounters at the End of the World."

Herzog's an interesting guy. He's not afraid to take a risk that a project he does might suck. I admire that.

James Reasoner said...

Thanks for the recommendations, guys. I'll check Netflix later and see what they have.

Bruce said...

James there is a collection of all the short docs that Herzog have done and those are well worth looking out for. But I don't think the DVD set ever got a US release. Including one on Dr. Gene Scott.

Juri said...

I liked Herzog's STROSZEK, a very heart-warming and minimalistic tale of Bruno Ganz coming from Europe to America and understanding nothing of the people and their manners.

One might also recommend Herzog's vampyre film NOSFERATU, with Klaus Kinski and the very beautiful Isabelle Adjani.