Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Drama Bad Lieutenant:Port of call New Orleans

Bad Lieutenant:Port of call New Orleans


                What I find most intriguing is that Werner Herzogs “Bad lieutenant: Port of call New Orleans” is that the story itself is never as captivating as the main character. Nicolas cage dominates the screen with such intensity that it’s hard to even comprehend what the film would even be without him.

                The film starts shortly after the disaster of hurricane Katrina, ironic that the central character is a disaster himself, we see police sergeant Terrence McDonough (Nicolas Cage) with his partner Stevie (Val Kilmer) as they mock a trapped prisoner which Terrence reluctantly jumps into murky water to save him. After he rescues the prisoner he is then promoted to lieutenant but has suffered a back injury due to the rescue attempt. His doctor prescribes him vicoden which Terrence is told he will probably have to take for the rest of his life. This is the point where we are thrown into Terrence’s world of insanity.

                Six months later he’s not only addicted to pain killers but also cocaine and cannabis to name a few.  To feed his drug addiction he antagonizes and manipulates people into getting his fix, such as getting another fellow cop to steal dope from the evidence or blackmailing a college football star. Terrence is sadistic in his routines he a person with almost no care about the values of others, no regret just doing what he feels he has to do.

                Terrence visits his girlfriend, Frankie (Eva Mendez), also an addict not to mention hooker, on a regular basis giving her drugs and sometimes receiving.  She cares for him and sympathizes with his addiction as well as her own. They are two broken souls who are well aware they aren’t perfect but find ways to be perfect for each other. He doesn’t care that she’s a prostitute; this doesn’t bother him though he is fine with it.

                I think now is a good a time as any to talk about the performance given by Nicolas Cage. Portraying a psychopathic drug addicted cop probably isn’t the easiest of tasks by Mr. Cage does so with what seems like relative ease. He delves himself into the character creating a sort of anti hero that we don’t quite feel comfortable rooting for. He’s utterly insane and I love it! It’s impossible to take your eyes off him it’s simply a wonderful unhinged performance.

                During the madness is a murder case involving two illegal immigrants being run by Terrence himself.  The prime suspects are a drug lord by the name of big fate and two of his henchmen known as midget and “G” a name McDonough always laughs at after saying it. His dedication to the case deteriorates as his addiction worsens. He finds himself in more and more holes owing the wrong people money. This doesn’t really seem to faze him though almost like he welcomes the excitement either that or he just doesn’t care making the character all the more interesting and unpredictable.


                Werner Herzog does a decent job of putting us in the middle of one of America’s biggest tragedies. The problem I do have with the film though is that nearly every aspect of it is upstaged by cage’s performance. Some of the characters I felt were wasted and underdeveloped and the plot was somewhat incohesive. I may just be nitpicking because after all is said and done I really enjoyed this film. Terrence McDonough’s world of drug addiction, murder, mayhem, and iguanas is definitely worth the ride.

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