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Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner19/05/2010

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 122 mins

Werner Herzog's Bad Lieutenant remake is a hugely entertaining, brilliantly directed and completely insane thriller with a hilarious script and a gloriously bonkers performance from Nicolas Cage.

What's it all about?
Directed by Werner Herzog, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is a re-imagining of Abel Ferrara's 1992 thriller (which Herzog claims not to have seen) that transposes the action from 1990s New York to post-Katrina New Orleans. Nicolas Cage plays newly-promoted Lieutenant Terence McDonagh, who has developed a serious drug habit as a result of becoming addicted to painkillers after a back injury.

When McDonagh and his partner (Val Kilmer) investigate a multiple homicide, the trail quickly leads them to local kingpin Big Fate (Alvin 'Xzibit' Joiner), but their case is stalled by a lack of evidence and McDonagh ends up baby-sitting a reluctant teenage witness. Meanwhile, as if that wasn't bad enough, McDonagh has to deal with thugs threatening his hooker girlfriend (Eva Mendes), a serious gambling problem and the beginnings of drug-induced psychosis.

The Good
When the trailer for Port of Call New Orleans first appeared, it was so ridiculous that many people thought it was a spoof. Happily, the finished film is everything the trailer promised and more – yes, it's completely insane, but the real surprise is that it's actually a pretty entertaining thriller in its own right.

With Lt McDonagh, Nicolas Cage has finally found the perfect outlet for his twitchy, high-energy performing style – accordingly, he gives his best performance since Wild at Heart, a gloriously bonkers tour de force where practically every line out of his mouth is comedy gold. There's also strong support from Eva Mendes, Jennifer Coolidge (excellent in a rare non-comedy turn as McDonagh's boozy stepmother), Brad Dourif (as his long-suffering bookie), Michael Shannon (as a work colleague) and Xzibit as Big Fate.

The Great
Herzog's direction is delightfully off-the-wall, with the jaw-dropping iguana-cam moment being a particularly bizarre highlight. In addition, the script is packed with terrific scenes (Cage shaving while threatening an old lady, Cage busting out his lucky crack pipe) and wonderfully quotable dialogue.

Worth seeing?
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is a hugely entertaining, completely insane thriller with a hilarious script and a gloriously bonkers performance from Nicolas Cage. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans (18)
Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 14/12/2017 09:58

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