Ooh boy. I am going to get in trouble for this one. Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call New Orleans was named by Roger Ebert as among the top 10 mainstream films of 2009, and he isn’t the only critic to think so, which only proves my theory: Most critics don’t know what they are talking about. This movie is horrendously bad. Bad acting. Bad directing. A storyline that wanders until a resolution is presented with a bow on top with ten minutes left, only to have it dissolve in the last five.
All that complaining and I am still going to tell you to watch this movie. I had no intension of ever watching this movie until I heard it discussed on the Jordon, Jesse, Go! podcast (Episode 159). I suggest everyone do the same and then follow their instructions: listen to KCRW’s The Treatment when Werner Herzog was interviewed, before and after viewing the film. You will thank me.
Nicholas Cage, who can’t act in any movie (can we all finally admit this?), starts off the movie talking in a stiff and forced manner. In the middle he sounds like someone doing a bad Marlon Brando impersonation and ends the movie sounding like he is trying out for the Joker role in the next Batman movie. Val Kilmer plays the one role he knows how to play nowadays, Val Kilmer. Eva Mendes does a decent job playing Cage’s girlfriend/prostitute. Surprisingly the best actor in the movie was Xzibit. Yeah, that Xzibit. And what the hell is Jennifer Coolidge doing in this?
The movie, itself, is bizarre. It is directed by critically acclaimed and prolific director Werner Herzog who relishes in the The Treatment interview that he finished the film early and underbudget. I think he is insane and from the choices he made in this film I challenge you to prove me wrong. There’s a gator-cam, an iguana-cam, a break-dancing dead guy… I could go on and on.
I am giving the movie one star but also suggesting you watch this one for yourself. You may need frequent breaks (as I did) to keep your sanity in check but once it is all over you will feel like you conquered it… maybe not understand it… but conquered nonetheless.