Pin It

Cage indulges in lunacy in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans 

Tragic and absurdist, this film travels through drugs, violence, sex, gangsters and hallucinations.

The sight of a road accident in which a car flipped over a jaywalking alligator sets the tragic/absurdist tone of Werner Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. It’s a fascinating cinematic image, and Herzog’s darkly funny spin on police procedural dramas is full of these moments of loosely connected dementia. At its centre is Nicolas Cage, indulging his lunacy the most freely since Wild at Heart. As Lt. Terence McDonagh, Cage indulges in bad behaviour (the only connections to Abel Ferrara’s 1992 Bad Lieutenant are the title and certain themes). Despite a restless dedication to his work, McDonagh goes about it through gambling, an endless supply of drugs, dropping a teenager’s charges in return for sex, bonding with gangsters (and then improperly using the word “’sup” a lot) and parking in a tow-away zone in front of his hooker girlfriend’s apartment. Katrina-decimated New Orleans becomes a character itself---a world’s end backdrop of McDonagh’s hallucination of addiction and excess.
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
Rated R (MPAA) · 121 min. · 2009
Official Site:
Director: Werner Herzog
Writer: William M. Finkelstein
Producer: Edward R. Pressman and Stephen Belafonte
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer, Alvin "Xzibit" Joiner, Fairuza Balk, Shawn Hatosy, Jennifer Coolidge, Shea Whigham, Denzel Whitaker and Brad Dourif


Now Playing

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is not showing in any theaters in the area.

Pin It



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Mark Palermo

Survey Asks

Would you prefer bins or bags for your garbage and recyclables?

  • Bins
  • Bags

View Results

In Print This Week

Vol 26, No 34
January 17, 2019

Cover Gallery »

Real Time Web Analytics

© 2019 Coast Publishing Ltd.