- Bad Lieutenant Port of Call New Orleans 8-24
Monday, December 21, 2009

Bad Lieutenant
Port of Call New Orleans

Studio:     Firstlook Studios
Plot:     A corrupt, drug-addicted cop investigates the murder of five Senegalese illegal immigrants in New Orleans
Cast:     Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer, Alvin "Xzibit" Joiner, Vondie Curtis Hall
Rating:     R
Bottom Line:     **1/2

By Samantha Ofole-Prince

Nicolas Cage has made quite a career for himself playing erratic characters living dangerously. Whether it’s in “Matchstick Men” or “Leaving Las Vegas,” the Oscar winning actor has proven to be one of the most versatile actors of all time.

In his latest project – call it a case of Cage rage -- he’s a cop with a cocaine habit and as the title implies, he’s indeed a very, very bad lieutenant.

Based in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Cage plays Lieutenant Terence McDonagh, a high functioning, deeply intuitive drug addict who is saddled with an agonizing back problem -- an ailment Cage aptly portrays with a hunched back. A cocaine addict -- at least that’s his preferred drug of choice although heroine and marijuana are never off the table, he boozes occasionally to level off the drug high and his life is such a loveless hell that he buys sex just for the sensation of being touched.

An updated version of the 1992 movie of the same name, it’s directed by Werner Herzog (“Grizzly Man”) and is a gritty, primitive crime drama which puts an out-of-control psychopathic police lieutenant on a collision course with disaster as he tries to solve the drug-related murder of a family from Senegal. Eva Mendes, who previously collaborated with Cage on “Ghostrider” further complicates his tumultuous life as Frankie, the prostitute he’s in love with and will do anything for.

With a bad back, an attitude to match, wrinkled suits, an unshaven chin and a penchant for swearing, Cage, in one of his best performances conveys a lost, sardonic character in tremendous real pain and plays Terence with raw honesty.


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