In Werner Herzog's new film Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans, Nicolas Cage plays a rogue detective who is as devoted to his job as he is to scoring drugs while playing fast and loose with the law. He wields his bad... more »ge as often as he wields his gun in order to get his way. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he becomes a high-functioning addict who is a deeply intuitive, fearless detective reigning over the beautiful ruins of New Orleans with authority and abandon. Complicating his tumultuous life is the prostitute he loves (played by Eva Mendes) and together they descend into their own world marked by desire, compulsion, and conscience. The result is a singular masterpiece of filmmaking: equally sad and manically humorous.« less
Christopher Michael | Oakland, CA USA | 12/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have to say I was somewhat horrified when I saw the trailer for this; it looked very generic and unintersting. The first thought in my head after hearing about this collaboration of Herzog and Cage was 'trainwreck'. I mean, I knew it would be at least an interesting wreck, but I was not expecting much. I was dead wrong.
Also, let me say that the original film by Abel Ferrara is one of my all time faves, and Harvey Keitel's performance is the answer I automatically give to anyone who asks what my all time favorite film performance is.
That being said.....
While the first film is dark and just brutal, this film is actually quite funny. With the exception of drug addict cops and gambling debts, the films are quite different. The first was def more in your face w/both it's graphic portrayal of gutter life and the ever-present religious overtones. This film is far more subtle, both in it's scenery and supporting cast, all across the board I might add; both the locations and characters are there, just waiting to be noticed for their authenticity in even the smallest part. There is reality to them all, much of which can be very comedic. The same can be said for the backdrop of New Orleans; it plays second to the human cast, but there is much to be noticed upon multiple viewings.
Nicolas Cage is perfectly cast and pull this one off flawlessly; his energy and humor, crossed w/a few somber and even emotional moments(esp. the scene where he talks about his treasure hunt w/Eva Mendes....). Cage makes every scene enjoyable, which is basically every scene. His acting is consistent throughout, even changing his tone of voice after being up for 3 days(as people who have been packing their noses for 72 hours with no sleep often do.....almost a godfather type thing), with his hunched back and .44 magnum hanging from his belt. This may be Cage's best film, and he deserves so much credit for this performance. I actually had fun watching him, and I never thought of him as Nicolas Cage, despite some obvious 'Cage-isms' here and there in terms of delivery. But you can tell he was into this part, and the result is almost more of a comic tour de force than anything else....he delivers lines like 'don't worry about your clothes right now...this is uncut dope!' with a certain comic timing almost, and like Keitel, you are just waiting to see what he will do next.
Some people found this movie boring and linear; while straightforward on the surface(kind of reminded me of an early 70's cop movie at times...), it deepens upon multiple viewings. You can tell Cage and Herzog made some kind of connection, and to be honest I am thankful someone actually funded this and got the talent involved. You can tell there was not a huge budget for this movie, which I think helped in terms of getting unknown/lesser known actors to fill many of the smaller but important roles. It adds a certain authenticity. The result is something truly original, funny, but by no means without it's share of corruption, brutality, and intense moments. Not very violent, but there is def a feeling of something heavy coming throughout, given some of the situations.
I would also say there are some surprises in here I have not seen in any film; Herzog has a great control over this film, and from the opening scene in the flooded jailhouse to the final frames, you can see he put his heart into this film. Plus there are 3 things in this movie I have never seen before in any movie; they were surprising and gut busting. You are lucky if you get one good twist in a movie nowadays.
This is based on seeing 4 times in the theater, but I can only imagine it will look fantastic on blu ray. An odd film to some, lame to others. But hopefully some will see this for the brilliant movie it is and get past the title or any comparisons. They are both great films to me, and completely different.
A great example of what talented people all across the board can do w/basically no money, and outshine most 'funded' movies...Go figure.
***UPDATE: Looks amazing on Blu Ray; This is how this movie was meant to be seen. Great lighting, color schemes, location use, and detail in every scene. The theater did not do this movie justice visually speaking...***"
Nicholas Cage At Long Last Returns To His Roots--with Werner
carol irvin | United States | 12/29/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We all know the Nicholas Cage of recent years who seemingly has made one hackneyed movie after another just to indulge yet another big pay check and spending spree. Those of us who had been following him from the beginning, who loved his quirky indie films with offbeat directors, were horrified at what he'd become. Now he has teamed with the ultimate indie, offbeat director, Werner Herzog, to reclaim his roots. I believe that both Herzog and Cage have made a movie that is an extended metaphor about post Katrina New Orleans. Cage IS that post Katrina beleaguered city. He starts out the film injured and heroic and then zig zags through the rest of the film exhibiting the behavior of a post traumatic stress disorder patient who is untreated, like such a soldier from Vietnam or Iraq. For Herzog's part, he's always been about imagery and metaphors and he doesn't disappoint here in rendering the ultimate imagery and metaphor for post Katrina New Orleans. This is a very different movie from Abel Ferrara's movie starring Harvey Kietel set in New York. That film was a true character study of a really bad cop who worked for the NYPD. It was also excellent but very different from this film. Is Cage Herzog's new alter ego Klaus Kinski (his late leading man)? I doubt it. Although the two are an excellent pairing, Kinski and Herzog were a one off as a movie making team."
Fear and loathing in New Orleans
D. Hartley | Seattle, WA USA | 03/16/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Who could have guessed that the man who helmed art house classics like "Fitzcarraldo", "Woyzeck" and "Aguirre the Wrath of God" would one day make a film entitled "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call-New Orleans"? Then again, one might argue that the iconoclastic Werner Herzog's career would be nothing, if not perennially unpredictable.
Herzog's latest film, arguably adorned with the year's most unwieldy title for squeezing onto a marquee, is a (sort of) sequel to Abel Ferrara's controversial 1992 neo-noir, "Bad Lieutenant" which was about a drug and gambling-addicted NYC homicide investigator. In that film, Harvey Keitel gave a fearless and maniacal performance as a "cop on the edge" who made most of the criminals he was paid to apprehend look like choir boys. Not an easy act to follow-but Nicholas Cage proves to be more than up to the task here.
To my observation, Cage has demonstrated two basic personas in his repertoire over the years. First, there is the Slack-Jawed, Dead-eyed Mumbler ("Peggy Sue Got Married", "Moonstruck", "Red Rock West", "Leaving Las Vegas"). His other character is the Manic, Wild-eyed Loon ("Wild at Heart", "Raising Arizona", "Kiss of Death", "Face/Off"). Personally, I get a real kick out of his performances in the latter mode, and it goes without saying that you can now add the role of "bad" Lt. Terence McDonagh to that section of his resume.
As far as I could glean, there is no effort to bridge with Ferrara's film and explain how Lt. McDonagh transitioned from NYC to New Orleans. Not that it really matters. Anyone who has followed Herzog's career probably has figured out by now that he is perfectly content to wallow in his own peculiar universe. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing-it's what makes his work so continually interesting to me. The "plot" ostensibly concerns itself with the murder of a Senegalese family, and the police investigation. Not that the "plot" really matters, either (although Herzog's post-Katrina milieu is quite atmospheric).
No, if you are going to watch this film (which has "destined to become a midnight cult item" written all over it), I'll tell you right now that you needn't concern yourself with trying to follow the (probably deliberately) convoluted and complex murder mystery. You'll be too busy asking yourself questions like "Did I just see what I think I just saw?" and making exclamations like "Oh no-he DIDN'T!" as Herzog and screenwriter William M. Finkelstein proceed to turn the "cop on the edge" genre on its head with every blackly comic twist and turn. Cage and the rest of the cast (including Val Kilmer, Eva Mendes, Fairuza Balk, Brad Dourif and Jennifer Coolidge) all seem to be in on the director's joke, and play it to the hilt. By the time you've processed Herzog's use of the "alligator/iguana-cam", you will have to make a decision to either run for the exit, or go with the flow and say to yourself "Well...I've bought the ticket, I'm gonna take the ride."
This is easily the most twisted noir I've seen since "Tough Guys Don't Dance". So do I think you should rush out and see this? That depends. If you are looking for a refreshing alternative to the usual Hollywood offerings, by all means, knock yourself out. But don't say I didn't warn you-if you don't consider an inspired line like "Shoot him again-his soul is still dancing!" to be pure genius, then you'd best keep away. "
The Not So bad Lieutenant
Dr. Elaine O. Chaika | Eastern New England | 04/13/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is a sort of remake of Abel Ferarra's powerful The Bad Lieutenant. It's "sort of" because they've set this version in New Orleans, I guess because of its reputation as sin city. It's also sort of because this bad lieutenant isn't really the totally corrupt person the original one was. In fact, when they have him do things inspired by the original, they don't come off as probable because Nicholas Cage simply doesn't exude the stench of rottenness that Harvey Keitel did to perfection. What's worse is that Cage is not only not rotten, he's also not capable of looking at himself and repenting, which Keitel's character did in spades. Even worse is that the new bad lieutenant gets no punishment for his crimes. Nor does Lady Luck abandon him. In short, this movies lacks the morality and moral of the original. Then, too, the original was a tightly knit, suspenseful movie that keeps you glued to the screen. This version is long and meandering so that I at least kept wishing it would end. The only reason I didn't turn it off before it did was that I had a guest watching with me. Get the original if you want to see a good bad lieutenant. Bad Lieutenant"
Amit Talpade | New York | 04/07/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There was a movie made under the same name by Abel Ferrara and starred Harvey Keitel. I have not seen it but this movie is similar, according to Ferrara and he was quite livid over its release. Werner Herzog claims to have never seen this film. Controversies aside, Bad Lieutenant delivers. In my opinion, there are four factors that make the film outstanding, Nicolas Cage, Werner Herzog the director, the script and the city of New Orleans. Nicholas Cage delivers a flawless performance as the pain riddled, drug addicted, corrupt cop who is completely out of control. His performance will reaffirm the faith of his old fans while drawing new ones. His awkward walk because of crippling back pain, his tone of voice and his dialogue delivery is superb. Kudos. He plays Terrence Mcdonagh and is investigating the murders of an entire Senegalese family. His girl friend is played by Eva Mendes and she is fair. Val Kilmer plays his co-worker and is relegated to a five minute cameo, hey what happened to this once A-lister. All the supporting characters have interesting story lines and they make this movie complete and worth watching. I really enjoyed this film, five stars 04/06/10 "