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
The "dancing soul scene" is an obvious homage to Herzog's early classic Stroszek (1977) which features an iconic scene of a dancing chicken set to the exact same Sonny Terry song "Old Lost John." See more »
When Big Fate and his crew shoot up the three guys who are after The Lieutenant's money, you can clearly see one of the bodies on the office floor move a finger when the iguana approaches him. See more »
Written by Eddie Miller, James Pebworth, Robert Yount
Performed by Johnny Adams
Published by Roschelle Music Publishing/Sony ATV Acuff Rose Music Publishing (BMI)
Licensed from Licensemusic.com ApS
Courtesy of Sun Entertainment Corporation See more »
Bad Lieutenant, The: Port of Call: New Orleans (2009)
**** (out of 4)
When it was announced that Werner Herzog would be remaking Abel Ferrara's 1992 film there was all sort of outrage with fans asking how anyone could remake a film as far "out there" as that. I think most of these complaints were from people who didn't know Herzog because if you did know his work you'd know he wouldn't just simply remake something. As was expected, this version has very little to nothing to do with the 1992 film so people can walk into this expecting something original. The film follows a simple storyline of a Lieutenant (Nicolas Cage) who is investigating the execution deaths of five people, including kids. He begins cracking down on known drug dealers in the area but he's also doing battle with his prostitute girlfriend (Eva Mendes) as well as his drug addiction to cocaine and heroine that is getting bigger by the hour. It's funny but the screenplay to this film probably would have fallen through the cracks had someone like Herzog not been behind the camera. That's not to say this is a bad screenplay but the entire investigation and all the side plots are pretty basic but it's thanks to Herzog's vision and Cage's performance that this film will go down as the wacky, over the top ride that it is. I didn't find the film flawless like some as a good ten minutes could have been cut out of the second act but the film is still very impressive. The important thing to remember going into the film is that you're about to see a very dark comedy so I guess one could call this the greatest comedy ever made about a drug-addict cop. Cage is what makes the movie because his performance here will rank as one of the greatest of his career. I think it has become easy to make fun of Cage and throw cheap insults at him but it's important to remember that when he's on fire he usually can't be touched by anyone and that's certainly the case here. Is he over the top? Sure but he's suppose to be. His performance is so dead on that you can help but look at him and feel that you're really seeing someone going through a major addiction. Cage's entire body seems to change shape throughout the movie as he grows more and more sick. The way Cage laughs at someone being called "G" is just priceless as is a terrific scene between he and an iguana. The supporting cast is very impressive as well with Mendes turning in a fine performance as the drugged out hooker, Val Kilmer as a psycho cop, Fairuza Balk as another cop and the always reliable Brad Dourif as a bookie. Herzog's vision is all over this thing and I really loved the overall look of the movie. I loved how the start of the film has the camera constantly moving, which to me was to imply the state that Cage's character was in with all the drugs. The film is a dark comedy and for the most part both Herzog and Cage go full steam to bring out the laughs and this includes a hilarious sequence with a couple old ladies with one on oxygen and others with Cage seeing things that aren't really there. The terrific cinematography and nice music score also add a great deal as do the worn down streets from the post Katrina days. This certainly isn't among the director's greatest works but it's still something very fresh and original and it really stands out compared to the other type of films being released today.
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