The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans

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

This one has fascinated me since long before I finally got round to watching it.

When I heard years ago that they were doing another Bad Lieutenant film, I wondered why they were remaking that boring Abel Ferrara film or, if they weren't, how on earth they could get a sequel out of that. Or why they would bother doing a sequel to it. Because nobody but a bunch of film nerds remembers it, it was 17 years ago.

Then I found out it had almost nothing to do with the Ferrara film but that just baffled me even more. Especially when I found out that Edward Pressman produced both films, that Werner Herzog didn't want it to be called this anyway, that Ferrara thought it was a remake and nobody told him that it was, and that Herzog had never heard of Ferrara.

Look, doesn't this stuff bother ANYONE ELSE. I'm reading all your reviews and all you do is talk about how good this is and nobody talks about this stuff, the stuff that keeps me awake at night and you think that's a joke but it's not. I fucking want to know what's going on here, I need closure on this!

In the meantime, yeah, it's really good. It's a very well made, well acted and solid crime drama with black comedy overtones and embellishments but not really much more than that. I think it was also my first look at post-Katrina New Orleans in a film and made me wonder how many films out there directly reference and feature the city after the devastation caused by that hurricane. I know there was some TV show that did that, but you know, I'm never going to watch that.

Without trying to wig out again about the whole connection / non-connection to the original film, there were moments in this where I was wondering if this was supposed to be funny or not, especially when he threatens to kill the two old women. It reminded me of the classic Daryl Strawberry scene from Ferrara's film (you know the scene, come on) and I know I'm still an absolutely awful person for laughing at that scene but I can't help it.

The black comedy (?) here helps to keep a woozy feeling to the film that mirrors Nicolas Cage's fast slide into further drug addiction although I think Herzog should have done more with that, and not just because I found the iguanas bit hilarious as well. Remember, if you can think of any other scene in film history where a character is bothered by one or more iguanas, let me know.

Cage is great, by the way, finding a nice balance between proper acting and Crazy Cage while it was nice to get an appearance from Brad Dourif and Jennifer Coolidge. And for additional reasons, Fairuza Balk. This was very good, sure, but I can see this is going to be a tough night again, man.