Bad Lieutenant Review
Thanks to my general poverty I haven’t been to the movies as much as I would like recently, so we’ve been a bit short on updates here at Benaflix.
But I’m back with a vengeance to spread the word on “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans”.
Basically it’s about Nicolas Cage playing a detective whose moral compass gradually evaporates. The movie begins with said detective performing a nobel act, jumping into the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina to rescue a trapped inmate.
This does not payoff, as Cage’s character injures his back. The resulting pain is part of the reason he starts doing copious amounts of coke, pills and just about anything else that’ll get you high.
He also starts going more than a little crazy, hallucinating iguanas, pulling random clubgoers over to shake them down for drugs and/or sexual favors.
Herzog is pretty clearly not as interested in this sort of generic dirty cop tale as he is in the thematic undercurrent. Cage’s character is going over to the dark side, indulging in his more animalistic instincts. Herzog and Co. take every opportunity to remind us of this literally by finding a way to incorporate snakes, alligators and the aforementioned iguanas.
How he incorporates these and some other strange touches is basically half the fun of the picture, so I won’t ruin it.
But to give a sense of the strange tone the pic descends into, consider the following scene.
Nic Cage is riding along with a drug dealer named Big Fate, played by Xzibit. He threatens Fate, then tells his henchman he’ll kill them all. He then says something to the effect of ‘I’ll go till the break of dawn!”. A smile cracks across his face. It almost seems like something for the gag reel. And then Cage cracks up. He laughs like a crazy man.
The others join in, also laughing. As if this is the most normal thing in the world.
And this is actually a pretty minor example of the crazy fun the film has to offer.
If you enjoy seeing Nicolas Cage do his crazy-man schtick, if you enjoy films that have the potential to surprise, and if you enjoy Werner Herzog’s particular brand of crazy — go see this movie.