DVD RvReview: Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

I was watching Bad Lieutenant again last night when I suddenly realised I’d forgotten to put my review of it last year up on our crummy little site. That’s how bowled over I was by it: I forgot to hit ‘Publish’ on a new post. For anyone interested in reading something I wrote ages ago about a film that was out ages ago, the review is below. For those not interested… I’ll kill all of you. To the break of dawn (I won’t actually kill anyone, I’m just lamely quoting from the film. But then you probably knew that, so me explaining it here is pretty pointless).

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (five stars)

There are cinematic cops who play by their own rules. And then there is Terence McDonagh. The crack-smoking, dog-sitting, iguana-bothering anti-hero of Werner Herzog’s reworking of Bad Lieutenant doesn’t just break all the rules: it’s never entirely clear if he knows there are any. That McDonagh is played with frenzied exuberance by Nicolas Cage merely adds to the sense of fun. And make no mistake: this is a fun film, possibly the best police comedy since Beverly Hills Cop. Whether or not it sets out to be is plainly irrelevant when the finished result is this entertaining. McDonagh, an unorthodox detective who makes Harry Callahan look like Harold Bishop, is the role Cage was born to play. He does more here with an arched eyebrow and those big sad eyes than most actors manage with their entire bodies. Even the film’s alligators can’t take their eyes off him. There’s a sub-plot about a murder investigation in New Orleans but it’s really just background to McDonagh’s increasingly unpredictable escapades – highlights include sex with a stranger in a car park and hilariously holding a pair of old ladies at gunpoint. Halfway through, as his character’s mind becomes more substance-addled, Cage starts to channel Jimmy Stewart by way of Richard Nixon, an incredible gambit that inexplicably pays off. But then this is a movie in which Val Kilmer plays the straight man. That’s how far gone it is. A brilliantly bizarre picture that somehow makes perfect sense. And the dog in it is really cute. Awwww…

This review first appeared in the Metro newspaper



10 Responses to “DVD RvReview: Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans”

  1. Paragraph Film Reviews Says:

    Loved this film for all the same reasons. Nothing beats a Crazy Cage Performance (CCP), and this is probably the pinacle… Breakdancing ghosts?!?!? WTF

  2. CCP… now thats an organisation id buy shares in

  3. This movie is totally out-of-hand and batshit crazy but Cage is in top form and the things that happen here, really will make you laugh as well as scratch your head. Good Stuff all-around though!

  4. I love it when Cage gets to do roles like this and Big Daddy in Kick-Ass. Sure he craps out a terrible movie every week, but when he’s on………you’re in for a treat. This one has been in my Netflix queue for a while. I need to finally get around to watching it.

  5. you wont be disappointed – cracking stuff

  6. I couldn’t finish this the other night, but if I had known he does a Jimmy Stewart impression via Nixon I would have kept going.

  7. Aw Fitz, you gotta watch the whole thing!

  8. Wait, I cannot fathom it being so srtgaihtfroward.

  9. I finally did finish and the experience is rewarding if you push through. Thanks guys!

  10. Told you! Well done Fitz

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