The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans

The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans ★★★½

What at first seems like an oddly conventional genre effort from Werner Herzog quickly evolves into another one of his strange, insulated and darkly absurd studies on moral corruption and the madness of power. Like its titular protagonist, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans wears its normalcy as an aggressively hollow façade, flitting in-between your standard “crooked cop on the edge” crime procedural and something far more labyrinthine and impressionistic, replete with existential digressions, breakdancing corpses, loads of GoPro iguana footage and one of Nic Cage’s most perfectly-tuned and idiosyncratic performances (anyone who saw this movie and went on to propagate the early 2010s “Nic Cage is a bad actor” meme bullshit anyway deserves a stern talking to, imo nobody could play this role better). Still prefer the leaner, grimier Abel Ferrara original but there are moments here that almost blow it out of the water ("Shoot him again." "What for?" "His soul's still dancing!"); either way, I love how distinct they are from each other despite essentially telling the same archetypal story and (aside from Nic Cage and Harvey Keitel's similarly fearless, commanding performances) both are worth watching and appreciating for completely different reasons. No doubt up there with Crank and Kill Bill as one of the coolest movie duologies of all time.

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