BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS (2009)

badlieu

 

Director: Werner Herzog
Written By: William M. Finkelstein
Cinematography By: Peter Zeitlinger
Editor: Joe Bini

Cast: Nicholas Cage, Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer, Irma P. Hall, Brad Douriff, Xzibit, Shawn Hatosy, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Jennifer Coolidge, Michael Shannon, Fairuza Balk, Denzel Whitaker, Shea Wingham, Nick Gomez

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.

A Strange film. As it isn’t a sequel, Remake, Reboot or follow-up, but more a thematic similar film to the Abel Ferrara original. Dealing with a corrupt cop with an spiritualand existential crisis. As we watch the main character breakdown while investigating a certain case. It seems that the title Bad Lieutenat was added later to help market the film

This was a film I expected to be fun and really enjoy, Yet I found this to be another disappointment. It has good and interesting characters. But for all the great actors in the film they have characters who would be interesting if they really had something to do and fit more into the film.

Nicholas Cage gives a great performance and this film is practically a one man show. As he is a live wire from beginning to end. Now knowing that his character is on legal and illegal medication most of the film. It strikes me as odd that none of his co-workers think that he is on high on illegal substances considering how jumpy he is and always seems to be on. I only wish the film could be as off the wall and entertaining as his performance.

The film is missing interesting scenes and a good story to keep interest up. I guess the lack of these things gives the film and cage more free reign to maneuver. I like the films divergences with the trippy iguana and alligator scenes. But even with that the film lacks Director Herzog’s amazingly surreal images. It lacks his visual appeal. It’s a thriller that never feels suspenseful nor dramatic.

One scene Puzzles me as to why are mobsters always philosophers when threatening people. Yet the film still has some tricks up it’s sleeve to preserve it and save it. Especially when things look like they will be going for a storybook ending.

The actor Xzibit laughs so much in this film as a drug kingpin half the time I just think it is his natural reaction to cage’s performance.

The film is one of Herzog’s recent stabs more into the mainstream genre of cinema this and RESCUE DAWN may be an attempt to make mainstream movies that make money so that he can fund his films that more fit his interests.

The film feels like what I would never describe a Herzog film as dull. It seems small potatoes compared to the things we know he is capable of as a director.

Being that this is a movie directed by Werner Herzog, it seems more like an experiment for him in that he is taking material that was already it there and not making a sequel or a remake. It is It’s own entity and a character piece but allows for cinematic freedom while also being a kind of franchise entry, Plus being more Mainstream then his usual films

It’s worth watching only for Nicholas Cage’s performance really.

GRADE: B-

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