The Bad Lieutenant - Port of Call: New Orleans

"Very Good"

The Bad Lieutenant - Port of Call: New Orleans Review


A loose remake of Abel Ferrara's 1992 immorality tale, this film becomes bizarrely comical as it gets increasingly depraved. But Herzog's deliberately bonkers approach, matched by Cage's hammy performance, is strangely entertaining.

Detective Terence McDonagh (Cage) has been promoted to lieutenant in the wake of his heroic actions during Hurricane Katrina. Even though he's a coke-snorting, evidence-tampering, gambling-addict rapist with a hooker (Mendes) for a girlfriend. Now he's investigating the grisly murder of a family. He knows that local gangster Big Fate (Joiner) is to blame, but he has no proof beyond a nervous 15-year-old witness (Whitaker). As his entire world squeezes in on him, he merely turns to more drugs, violence and sex to worm his way out.

Cage goes for broke with this performance, adopting a drunken John Wayne walk combined with crazy-eyed twitches and severe shifts in personality. It's completely impossible that Terence manages to stay on his feet though this story, and indeed Cage looks like he could fall over at any moment, especially when he starts to hilariously hallucinate about iguanas, which combine with the water-snakes and crocodiles to give the film a reptilian tone.

Herzog clearly knows what he's doing here, and the film's slimy, murky atmosphere is packed with pitch-black humour that oozes from the screen.

Besides Cage's walking-death nuttiness, the supporting cast is a who's who of scene-stealing overactors, from the slinky Mendes to the puffy Kilmer as a snarky colleague. Coolidge has one of the most unexpected roles, far against type as Terence's weather-beaten stepmum. And when you stir the likes of Dourif and Shannon into the mix, you have enough texture for 10 movies.

With Herzog's boozy direction and Mark Isham's gloomy jazz score, the film takes on the same hilariously sordid rhythm as the increasingly messy Terence, lurching from languid to leery to hyperactive and back. And while this doesn't really do the plot or characters any favours (it's impossible to take any of this seriously), it does make the film compulsive viewing. It's too camp to be involving, but you can't look away.



The Bad Lieutenant - Port of Call: New Orleans

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 122 mins

In Theaters: Friday 11th September 2009

Box Office USA: $1.6M

Budget: $25M

Distributed by: First Look Pictures

Production compaines: Millennium Films, Edward R. Pressman Film, Saturn Films, Polsky Films, Osiris Productions, Lieutenant Productions, Nu Image Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%
Fresh: 121 Rotten: 18

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , , Alan Polsky, Gabe Polsky, Edward R. Pressman,

Starring: as Terence McDonagh, as Frankie Donnenfeld, as Stevie Pruit, as Heidi, as Armand Benoit, as Genvieve, as Pat McDonagh, as Captain James Brasser, Irma P. Hall as Binnie Rogers, as Justin, as Mundt, as Ned Schoenholtz, as Big Fate

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

Advertisement
The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.