The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans

The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans ★★★★

Werner Herzog makes the films he wants to make, and this more "mainstream" effort is still unorthodox and strange. The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans is an odd combination of things, driven by its crime story and character study in a narrative sense, yet propelled stylistically by surreal asides and an inconsistent filming approach. Mostly it is shot pretty conventionally, but then every now and again it drops into handheld vérité or pauses on an artistic image. It also has tangential moments focused on nature, particularly fish, alligators, and iguanas. However this chaos is very well executed. What makes Port of Call - New Orleans work is that its manic descent into the perverse perfectly reflects the desperate, messy, unethical lead. Nicolas Cage is at his best here, with a physical, hunched performance that becomes gradually more crazed as hope for his character's redemption becomes increasingly unlikely. Port of Call - New Orleans is a dark movie, of severe drug misuse and corrupt justice. However it's also a fun movie, and funny, in a weird way. This is a heightened sensory experience, one where each moment delves you deeper into something hypnotic and dangerous. The film's bold choices and lack of categorisation are admirable, since it manages to both entertain and formally excite. The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans works on a level that isn't really defined. It's hyper-artistic trash, which works beautifully even when it shouldn't.

"Do fish have dreams?"

Darren liked this review