The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans

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

Rage Cage: RELOADED – A Reflection

Flick #1: "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans"

An utterly bewildering final act solidifies what has to be one of the great punchlines in the career of Nicolas Cage, and possibly director Werner Herzog. After almost two hours of grotesque and haphazard filmmaking, screenwriting, editing, and acting, "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans" pulls off a series of near "comedic" feats that manage to not only resolve every loose narrative thread present but also confirm the buried genius that may certainly be hidden in the clusterfucked depths of this drug-addled odyssey. I couldn't tell you what's being said with this film, or if there's anything being said at all, but there's something to this picture that has to be intentional. If not, it doesn't necessarily matter because I already feel duped in light of both the intentional and unintentional.

"Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans" is one of two sides of the spectrum. Herzog has either crafted a film of stealthy brilliance that's a study of a hardboiled cop caught in the midst of a slowly fading reality or he's made a tonally confused blunder of a drama that has zero understanding of what the hell it legitimately is. I'm willing to go with the former, but this film is far from perfect, plagued with pacing issues and instances where the story has little to no cohesion. But that's part of the point, right? If it's an attempt to put you in the perspective of Cage's eponymous anti-hero, then do the faults work in favor of the atmosphere and style? I'd say so.

What one has to admire, if anything, is that Cage and Herzog feel creatively uninhibited for the entirety of the film. Whether it be Cage's descent into Bogart-esque lingual mania or Herzog's oddball use of low-resolution cameras with fisheye lenses, there's nothing stopping these two, or the rest of the cast and crew for that matter, from realizing a specific vision. A mirage of mid-2000s life where there truly is no rest for the wicked.

"You think fish have dreams?"

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