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Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans

The only criminal he can't catch is himself. 

Year: 2010 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Werner Herzog 
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer, Fairuza Balk  
An image from Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans

Detective Terence McDonagh (Cage) has various problems. Left with a debilitating back problem after rescuing a prisoner from the floods that followed Hurricane Katrina, he develops an addiction to cocaine and painkillers. Estranged from his alcoholic father and romantically involved with fellow drug addict and prostitute Frankie (Mendes), McDonagh appears to have entirely lost his moral compass. Assigned to the case of six murdered Senagalese immigrants, McDonagh's investigation leads him to some of the most notorious gang leaders in New Orleans, who he is soon cutting deals with. But will his crumbling personal life, problems with narcotics and immoral behaviour wreck any chance he has of cracking the case and returning to a life of respectability?

Werner Herzog's penchant for the insane is written all over Bad Lieutenant. Having flirted with the mainstream in a few previous efforts, here Herzog has produced a Hollywood crime drama with a significant twist, chronicling one man's descent into personal hell. Nicolas Cage's performances may often drift from the sublime to the ridiculous, but he is in fine form here, Herzog having tapped his more outrageous acting excesses to superb effect. Setting the film in New Orleans offers it a humid, lurid feel, and perfectly complements McDonagh's sweaty, drug-induced haze. There are not many cop thrillers which can get away with hallucinatory iguanas and a dead man’s soul break dancing its way to the afterlife. Saturated with wonderfully bizarre imagery, witty dialogue and sewn together with an incendiary performance from Nicolas Cage, Bad Lieutenant is completely and utterly crazy and thoroughly enjoyable.

Greg Frame

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Screenings of this film:

2010/2011 Autumn Term (35mm)