Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
Available on DVD / Blu-Ray Now
Madness is nothing new for Werner Herzog. If anything it’s his forte. Similarly, with several roles as unhinged individuals to his name, it’s well established that Nicolas Cage does mad rather well. As a result it was always likely that pairing Herzog and Cage would generate some bizarre results and Bad Lieutenant certainly delivers, not least because Cage, in the form of the extremely troubled Terrence McDonagh, represents perhaps one of the oddest screen creations in recent memory.
Any pretence Bad Lieutenant may have of being a straightforward police procedural thriller is thrown out of the window almost instantly. Six illegal immigrants have been murdered and the recently promoted McDonagh has to prove the local drug lord is responsible. Unfortunately his nagging drug habit and penchant for numerous other illegal activities soon start to get in the way of proceedings and it isn’t long before his focus shifts elsewhere. It’s soon apparent that this crime scene is not Bad Lieutenant’sfocal point. McDonagh doesn’t view the case as important; neither should you. And that’s sort of the point.
Herzog’s film is a trippy affair and laden with such oddities as a minute-long intimate close-up of some cocaine-induced iguanas on a coffee table, making Bad Lieutenant defy any sort of genre expectations. Cage delivers a mind blowing performance as the drug-addled and morally bankrupt McDonagh, making the truly reprehensible titular lieutenant both a compelling and unexpectedly likeable protagonist. After a slew of dismal roles, it’s an entirely welcome reminder of what Cage does best, and on the evidence of Kick-Ass earlier this year, it looks like Cage is relishing the opportunity to embrace his crazy schtick once again, and that’s certainly no bad thing.
Welcome back Nic. We’ve missed you.