Friday, January 22, 2010

The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans – There Ain’t No Iguanas

It’s no secret that I dislike Nick Cage as an actor. To say he’s a bad actor is like saying shit smells bad. It’s obvious and unnecessary. Werner Herzog on the other hand is a master filmmaker and a talent beyond compare. There are few directors whom I enjoy more so when I heard about this film, two thoughts popped into my head. First was “what the hell is Herzog thinking?” Clearly he must have seen Cage’s previous work, it’s not like he’s some no name actor. The other thought (and I admit that this second thought entered my mind months after the first thought) was that Herzog knows what the hell he’s doing so we’ll give it a shot and see what comes of it. It’s a known fact that anyone can give a good performance, given the right material and the right direction.

Now here is something I never thought I’d ever say, but Nicolas Cage delivers a brilliant performance in The Bad Lieutenant. The mind boggles. Right from the start of the film it really seems like Werner Herzog is trying to deliberately make a bad movie. It seems, however, when you get a master filmmaker who is trying to make a bad film he winds up making the very best “bad movie” you’ll ever see. The acting (by everyone, but especially by Nick Cage) is so incredibly over the top that one wonders if Herzog wasn’t feeding the cast the drugs that the characters are supposed to be doing in the film. But it’s because of this, not despite it that makes such a great film.

Cage plays Terrance; you suspect by his actions that he probably wasn’t the most honorable cop to begin with. After he hurts his back in a fall he gets hooked on prescription drugs (amongst other things) or as he says, “everything I take is prescription, except the heroin”. It’s almost amazing how he can even function (there are moments when he can’t) from the shear amount of drugs this man takes; vicodin, coke, crack, heroin, pills, pot and anything else he can get his hands on. It’s astounding!

Sweet sweet Eva Mendes

The story revolves around a family of African immigrants being murdered and the Lt. is in charge of finding out what happened. The story is pushed forward at a pretty decent clip throughout the film, but between the rampant drug use and the insane predicaments Terrance finds himself in it’s amazing any headway is ever made on the case. Frankly, the story (though pretty good) is the secondary reason to watch this film. The real reason to watch it is for insanity. Trust me, it’s totally worth it. Now here’s my disclaimer: POCNO is a two-hour inside joke, if you watch it with the wrong crowd it will ruin the movie for you. It is necessary that you watch this with people who are in the know because if they aren’t it will just seem like a bad movie. Werner Herzog is either lost his mind or is a mad genius, I happen to think the latter, but I’ll let you make up your own mind.

5 Crooked Cops out of 5

Next Up: Objectified – I’ll try to be objective

P.S. There is a character in the film whose nickname is “G” for some reason whenever Terrance says his name he makes a face and laughs. It’s hilarious.

That's "G" on the far left


  1. Good review, can't believe how much you disrespect Cage though.

  2. I give him his due, but I'm not a fan.