“I only do prescription drugs… except for the heroin.”
I have a love/hate relationship with Nicolas Cage. Obviously he’s been in more than his fair share of terrible films over the last 15 years or so, but then again he’s also given great performances in films like David Lynch’s Wild at Heart, the Coens’ Raising Arizona, Jonze’s Adaptation, and of course he won the Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas in ’95. I also have a soft spot for Cage’s Holy Trifecta of 90’s action: The Rock, Con Air, and Face/Off. Director Werner Herzog, on the other hand, has been consistently amazing over a long career, with Aguirre: The Wrath of God (’72) and Fitzcarraldo (’82) being two of my all time faves.
Bad Lieutenant, which really isn’t a remake of the ’92 film of the same name at all, is a perfect marriage of the accessibility of Cage’s films and the general weirdness of Herzog’s. It’s easily Herzog’s most narrative and linear film in a long time (Rescue Dawn might be one exception), but it’s also got plenty of “WTF” moments spread throughout. As worried as I was about one of my favorite directors working with Nicolas Cage on what was thought to be a remake, this one turned out to be gold. It’s just a hilariously over-the-top good time. A must-see if you’re into black humor.