Favorite New Films: Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

posted by The Joe

badlieutenant

Never count out Werner Herzog.

I can imagine how this probably got made. Some producers had the rights to the Bad Lieutenant name and figured they could make some easy money on that alone, but how they thought of Herzog is beyond me. Maybe one of them saw Aguirre in college, who knows. But since Herzog doesn’t have regular access to the budgets that can get him out into the cold, uncaring wilderness for features (only documentaries these days), he took what he could get and made the most of it.

Now, the trailer originally made it seem that this was going to be so-bad-it’s-good, much in the vein of Nicolas Cage’s Wicker Man remake. But seeing as though Herzog is the world’s greatest director, he knew exactly what he was doing from day one.

Bad Lieutenant spirals into inspired lunacy immediately and never lets up, filling itself to the brim of random tangents, hallucinatory iguanas, and possibly the best performance of the year from Cage, perfectly channeling his batshit-crazy 80s persona with a dash of Daniel Day Lewis-y limp walking. Every scene is a surprise as Herzog lays on his controlled madness layer by brilliant layer.

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is not the best ‘bad’ movie of the year. It’s genuinely one of the greats. See it now in Minneapolis at the Lagoon Cinema.

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans – Scene

Friday, December 11th, 2009 at 3:00 am