#65 Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call- New Orleans
Director: Werner Herzog
MPAA Rating: R
Epic Co-stars: Val Kilmer, Eva MendesRunning Time: 122 mins
Cage Flip-outs: 4
This movie is set in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina (text says). Cage and Kilmer are cops. Early in the film (I'm guessing this is immediately post-Katrina) Cage jumps into a submerged prison to save a trapped convict and injures his back-- mild to moderate pain for the rest of his life, the doctor says, and prescribes him Vicodin. Flash forward to six months later, Cage is snorting something in his police car before walking into a crime scene. He's a grumpy-ass, high strung lieutenant with a crazy-ass swagger and a gun perpetually stuck in the front of his pants. His girlfriend, Eva Mendes, appears to be a hooker. Oh, yep. She's a hooker.
Cage's boss assigns him lead for the investigation into the murder of a Senegalese family. Turns out Cage has been stealing drugs from the property room with some help from a beat walker, Michael Shannon (aka Dave from Cage classic World Trade Center, if you're attentive). He also pulls over a couple of teenagers, ostensibly on suspicion of "passing drugs," and takes some drugs from the guy, takes some secondhand hits from a crack pipe via the mouth of the hot teenage girl, followed by a handjob.
We're alternately impressed with the intensity of his drug use, the depth of his depravity, and his skill in conducting the murder investigation. Cage single-handedly finds and delivers most of the important people and clues, despite the fact that he is pretty much up to his eyeballs in drugs and gambling debt. This movie might be more accurately titled "Irresponsible Lieutenant"-- given charge of his father's dog, he does everything in his power to pass that responsibility off onto his girlfriend; given charge of the young witness to the homicide, he quickly a) snorts coke in front of him, b) gives drugs to his hooker girlfriend, and c) loses the kid in a casino. Things start to unravel pretty quickly after that.
Cage is a fine actor here. He truly embodies this desperate, strung-out character with a touch of Cage-esque humor, a shuffling, hunched back posture and a nasally, mumbling version of his familiar drawl. Somehow you manage to feel bad for this poor son of a bitch, despite his fucking miserable life choices. The direction of the film is a bit rambly and has less momentum than I would like for this type of story. The director wastes a few minutes here and there with random artsy film bits (close-ups of a lizard or a crocodile dying on the street). But overall I would say this is a decent movie, and undoubtedly one of Cage's better recent acting gigs.
|Look, honey, there's a surprisingly bright future ahead of us!|
|Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Also cocaine makes you crazy in the brain.|
|"What are those fucking iguanas doing on my coffee table?"|
- "Please what, shitbird?"
- 'Hey, man, i got on Swiss cotton underpants. yeah, that's right. cost me $55 a pair. You think I want to get all this brown water and shit all over them?"
- "Don't move, you stay and watch! You watch her! You watch your fucking girlfriend!"
- "I need that coke back... I snorted what I thought was coke, turned out to be heroin. I need to be at work in an hour."
- "What are these fucking iguanas doing on my coffee table?"
- "It's amazing how much you can get done when you have a simple purpose in life."
- "Shoot him again!" "What for?" "His soul's still dancing!"
- "You don't have a lucky crack pipe?"
- "I'll kill all of you. To the break of dawn. To the break of dawn, baby."
- "Hey, did I ever tell you about the ni**er elk?"
- (to two elderly ladies) "Maybe you should die, you selfish cunt.... You fucks, I hate you, I hate you both.... You're the fucking reason this country's going down the drain."
- "Well, let her get cleaned up, put on something hot. She looks like shit right now."
- "A man without a gun isn't a man."
- All the other cops conveniently leave Cage in the room alone with bad guys often enough that he can smoke crack and make deals with them on a regular basis.