If you’re looking for an action based thriller, then you will be sadly let down. Instead, “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans” is a dark film with humor. Academy Award-nominated German film director, Werner Herzog, creates a story of the struggle of personal demons that many people can connect to.
The film stars Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage as Terrence McDonaugh, a New Orleans police lieutenant who is losing himself to a battle with drug addictions to cocaine and prescription medication. Cage heads toward a downward spiral as he tries to hunt down the killers of five Senegalese illegals that were murdered in a drug hit. Alvin “Xzibit” Joiner plays Big Fate, a possible source to the killings and supplier to the murdered victims.
Cage shows his soft and vulnerable side when trying to satisfy his prostitute girlfriend Frankie Donnenfield, played by Eva Mendes. The glamorous Mendes seems to live day to day surrounded by cocaine addiction and waiting for her next “client.”
When Cage hits rock bottom from all the drugs, the murder case, his girlfriend and an alarming amount of money he owes to his bookie, the story takes a turn for the better and unexpectedly ends up becoming a fairy tale.
Cage’s over-the-top performance is wild and comedic. The roaming iguana, “shoot him again” and lucky crack pipe scene bring relief and humor.
The movie immerses the audience into Cage’s life and captures the very moments where we all can feel his pain, weakness, anger and frustrations. You cannot help but feel pity for his life.
Bad Lieutenant was filmed in New Orleans during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. According to director Werner Herzog, “New Orleans was the fertile ground to stage a film noir, or rather a new form of film noir where evil was not just the most natural occurrence. It was the bliss of evil which pervades everything in this film.”
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans opens on Nov. 20, 2009.