The Bad Lieutenant - Port of Call: New Orleans Movie Review

A loose remake of Abel Ferrara's 1992 immorality tale, this film becomes bizarrely comical as it gets increasingly depraved. But Herzog's deliberately bonkers approach, matched by Cage's hammy performance, is strangely entertaining.

Detective Terence McDonagh (Cage) has been promoted to lieutenant in the wake of his heroic actions during Hurricane Katrina. Even though he's a coke-snorting, evidence-tampering, gambling-addict rapist with a hooker (Mendes) for a girlfriend. Now he's investigating the grisly murder of a family. He knows that local gangster Big Fate (Joiner) is to blame, but he has no proof beyond a nervous 15-year-old witness (Whitaker). As his entire world squeezes in on him, he merely turns to more drugs, violence and sex to worm his way out.

Cage goes for broke with this performance, adopting a drunken John Wayne walk combined with crazy-eyed twitches and severe shifts in personality. It's completely impossible that Terence manages to stay on his feet though this story, and indeed Cage looks like he could fall over at any moment, especially when he starts to hilariously hallucinate about iguanas, which combine with the water-snakes and crocodiles to give the film a reptilian tone.

Herzog clearly knows what he's doing here, and the film's slimy, murky atmosphere is packed with pitch-black humour that oozes from the screen.

Besides Cage's walking-death nuttiness, the supporting cast is a who's who of scene-stealing overactors, from the slinky Mendes to the puffy Kilmer as a snarky colleague. Coolidge has one of the most unexpected roles, far against type as Terence's weather-beaten stepmum. And when you stir the likes of Dourif and Shannon into the mix, you have enough texture for 10 movies.

With Herzog's boozy direction and Mark Isham's gloomy jazz score, the film takes on the same hilariously sordid rhythm as the increasingly messy Terence, lurching from languid to leery to hyperactive and back. And while this doesn't really do the plot or characters any favours (it's impossible to take any of this seriously), it does make the film compulsive viewing. It's too camp to be involving, but you can't look away.

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer : , , Alan Polsky, Gabe Polsky, Edward R. Pressman,

Comments

The Bad Lieutenant - Port of Call: New Orleans Rating

" Good "

Rating: 18, 2009

Advertisement

More Nicolas Cage

Sean Bean's Drunken Nicolas Cage Story Just Won The Internet

Sean Bean's Reddit AMA was bobbing along rather uneventfully this afternoon, with the British actor fielding queries about his new TNT show Legends - and...

'Joe' Is A Reminder That Nicolas Cage is a Great Actor

There are all kinds of theories about Nicolas Cage's acting style, usually centred on whether he has insane hair or not (he usually does). But...

Joe Movie Review

Nicolas Cage gives a rare internalised performance in this atmospheric drama, which has a stronger sense of its location than it does of its story....

Rage Movie Review

Nicolas Cage acts his socks off in this thinly plotted thriller, which is set in the same moral universe as the Taken movies, where mass...

Advertisement

Nicolas Cage Wears Nicolas Cage Meme T-Shirt To Guns N' Roses Concert

In what may be our favourite Instagram post of all time, rock band Guns N’ Roses have shared an image of Nicolas Cage…wearing Nicolas Cage....

Nicolas Cage's Nicolas Cage-Themed Outfit Just Raised The Bar For Hipsters Everywhere

Ironic shirts with Nicolas Cage’s face are apparently a thing now, so the actor is taking it to another level. How about Nick Cage wearing...

Nicolas Cage Wears His Own Meme As T-Shirt, Internet Applauds

Praise Nicolas Cage. The actor is ridiculed on a daily basis thanks to his face's seemingly endless compatibility with just about every meme. However, at...

Is This The Best Nicolas Cage Prank Ever? [Pictures]

Forget all the Nicolas Cage pranks you've ever read about. Forget the Wrecking Ball video. Forget, it all. All you really need to do for...

Advertisement