21 December 2009

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

Before you venture off to see this film, you should understand that it is, first and foremost, a Werner Herzog movie. It's Herzog's take on the crazy cop on the edge, breaking the law to uphold it type of story. This means that it's not the standard version of this trope, but rather, one that's cranked up to a level 11, with occasional bursts of whimsy thrown in for good measure.

Nicolas Cage is wonderful as the cracked out and wholly crazed officer. It's the role he was made for, one where all his various tics and mannerisms get worked to the max. He's absolutely marvelous, both appalling and humane, sympathetic, somehow, even when revolting. Eva Mendes also does a good turn as the hooker with the heart of gold. Val Kilmer is a bit dull as the caricaturish evil cop, but he gets very little airtime, so it's ok.

The movie is definitely quite a bit longer than it needs to be, and drags a lot towards the end, but the occasional flights of hallucinatory joyful fantasy go a long way in making up for it. I liked the movie a lot, despite it's being a kind of meta-movie, a commentary on what such movies are like rather than an actual specimen of the genre. The ending I thought was particularly clever in this regard, a nice compromise that allowed Herzog to have his cake and eat it too. So overall, though it was ot a great film, and went on far too long, I definitely liked it quite a lot.

1 comment:

Kit said...

so kasia, this is kit. there's no email contact for you on this page and i lost it. i'm mobynomad@gmail.com and you should get in contact so we can talk about taken and boondock saints 2.