Bad Lieutenant (2009)
Directed by: Werner Herzog
Written by: Abel Ferrara, Paul Calderon, Victor Argo, William M. Finkelstein, Zoë Lund
Starring: Brad Dourif, Denzel Whitaker, Eva Mendes, Jennifer Coolidge, Nicolas Cage, Val Kilmer
Bad Lieutenant (2009)
(18) Running time: 122 minutes
Director: Werner Herzog
Writers: William M FinkelsteinVictor Argo
Starring: Nicholas Cage, Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer
Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, official HCF critic
Watched this , and i know Hughes Ross gave this a good review a few months back but i urge all of you buggers to go and see it, forget anything else, this is the one to see! The only resemblance it has on Abel Ferrara’s classic original is the name and the use of drugs. It is NOT a remake, however it is one tour de force of a film!
We start in New Orleans just after the floods of a few years back and we are introduced to Nic Cage’s detective and his partner, played by Val Kilmer (who is looking weirder and weirder as he gets older). After saving a drowning criminals life a few months on Nic Cage is promoted to Lieutenant, however a mysterious back problem which causes him agonising pain and also reduces him to walk at a funny angle while almost like a hunchback, is truly getting him down. He is on medication, and in a truly exceptional scene he goes to the chemist and some daft bint would rather speak on her mobile than get his prescription. Angry, he storms behind to grab his stuff shouting like a loon and waving both his gun and his badge and not taking shit from anyone! To say Nic Cage is a mess is an understatement. He walks around, well, more like prowls around the film, slumped over, with his shirt and tie untidy, loose trousers with shirt hanging out, and his gun shoved in his pants for the whole world to see. It never leaves his trousers unless he intends to use it. Now, he doesn’t really shoot all that much, but hell, the gun comes out every bloody five minutes!
Anyway, where was i? Oh yes, so he’s promoted and considered one of the best cops on the force, he gets the job done by any means necessary. And he aint stupid, he knows where to draw the line. He stops his partner as he almost starts to beat a witness because he knows it will jeopardise the case. His girlfriend is a hooker and gets into all kinds of bother, but Nic Cage is always there to threaten any bullies out the door. Granted he does pick on the wrong guy at one point, but i won’t spoil anything. Nic Cage COMMANDS the screen and i haven’t had this much fun watching a character since Heath Ledger’s Joker. It is an awesome, powerhouse performance of a man addicted to pain killers, hard drugs, gambling and sex, he loves to bully, steal drugs from the evidence room, and make deals with bad people in order to pay his debts. Here is proof that Nic Cage has not lost his touch, he’s just made some bad film choices. In this film he is simply stunning t watch and i guarantee you will be hooked from beginning to end.
There other characters to take note of, his friends on the force, his fucked up parents, his Dads dog, his hooker girlfriend (played exceptionally by Eva Mendes), oh, and if things could not get any better, a certain Brad Douriff shows up as a loan shark. Hair tied back in a pony tail and receding, he still has those crazy eyes and just about detracts your attention from Cages monster.
A family of blacks have been brutally murdered and Cage is on the hunt for the killers. He gets to arrest some bad people, and make deals with even worse people along the way. He loses a key witness, and then, proof of how nasty he is, goes to where the witnesses Mum works as a carer for an old lady, and he cuts off the old lady’s air supply until he is told where the boy has gone. Another genius move is where he catches an football player buying drugs. In order to win some money by betting on the next game, he does a deal with the player in exchange for his silence, and this, he hopes will pay off his debts!
Superb performances, superb direction too. The infamous Iguana scene is every bit as weird and fucked up as you’ve heard, and then some! A genius scene where Cage sees Iguana’s but nobody else can. Brilliant! I could go on and on about how great this film is, but i mustn’t, i will end up ruining the story for you guys. All i will add is it has one of the biggest surprise endings I’ve seen in a while, and it is a truly brilliant film. Possibly the best film I’ve seen so far this year?