The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans

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

🧡 = Technical Merit (Direction | Writing | Cinematography | Editing | Acting | Musical Score)

🧡 = Artistic Vision (Mood & Atmosphere | Realism & Accuracy)

🧡 = Personal Affect (Gratification & Comfort | Emotional Response & Resonance | Replayability | Style)

Butthole firmly clenched for 2 hours straight. Like clenched.


Third viewing of Port Of Call, and watching Lt. McDonagh (Cage)'s drug fueled disintegration is still as cringeworthy and anxiety inducing as ever.

Cage is fully committed to the role and produces a powerhouse performance as the morally bankrupt cop investigating a quintuple homicide in post-Katrina New Orleans. This while juggling a painkiller/ hardcore drug addiction, debilitating chronic pain, a gambling habit, a druggie prostitute girlfriend, a bloodthirsty crimelord, a career ending Internal Affairs investigation, among others. Watching his descent into complete debasement and near self-destruction is genuinely harrowing, and hearkens to Keitel's own in the original film-- the "what else could possibly go wrong" list steadily growing with each jaw dropping turn of events.

Herzog masterfully heightens the feeling of claustrophobia with surreal, absurdist sequences blurring the line between real and imagined, as our lead's grip on reality loosens and the walls close in-- a scenic, sunbasked NOLA setting doing little to alleviate the persistent tension in the film, and instead simply bringing to light the type of depravity and debauchery normally reserved for the dead of night.

Val Kilmer, Eva Mendes, Michael Shannon, Xzibit, Brad Dourif, Fairuza Balk, and others provide solid support to the superb lead, and the brilliant script, excellent score, cinematography and editing are worthy of a Herzog picture.

Could not recommended more highly.

Neo Noir/ Tech Noir 🌆

Nicolas Cage Loses His $&#@ in a Scene 🤬

Endlessly Rewatchable ♾️

Top 50 Faves 🌠

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