The Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans
The very definition of batshit crazy, Werner Herzog’s collaboration with Nicholas Cage is just as wild as you would expect.
A very, very loose adaptation of Abel Ferarra’s controversial Bad Lieutenant, Herzog’s film relocates the film’s action from a gritty New York to the more surreal environs of post-Katrina New Orleans. Cage plays Terrence McDonagh, a cop with a bad gambling habit and a tendency to forget which side of the law he’s working on. As a result of a rare act of bravery, McDonagh sustained a painful back injury and the drugs he consumes at an alarming rate cause him to hallucinate, which hardly helps him and his partner Stevie (an excellent Val Kilmer) investigate the deaths of five illegal immigrants from Senegal.
Making the most of the vast port landscape that straddles the Mississippi and encouraging Cage to amp up trademark eccentric acting style to 11, Herzog produces one of the most gleefully entertaining feature films of his career. This is a world away from Aguirre, The Wrath of God or Fitzcarraldo. But between them Herzog and Cage, with strong support from Kilmer, Eva Mendes, Jennifer Collidge, Brad Dourif, Alvin ‘Xzibit’ Joiner and Fairuza Balk, have created a police procedural unlike any other.