‘Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans’
Director: Werner Herzog
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Xzibit
Rating: R
Grade: ?????

 

The buzz about how great “Bad Lieutenant:?Port of Call New Orleans” is has been quite loud, but it’s not deafening enough to block out how utterly uneven and bizarre it is. It seems as though director Werner Herzog is sending up the cop-drama genre with all of his obvious nods to convention, like the coke-snorting hooker with a heart of gold (Eva Mendes) and the cynical cop drowning in his own drug habit (Nicolas Cage). As soon as you start believing this will play out like an average procedural, Herzog indulges in an extended close-up on two iguanas fighting. And when it seems the film is a surreal take on these cop films, Cage will utter some cringe-inducing cliche that sparks incredulous laughs from the audience. Are we to take this seriously or not? Only Werner Herzog knows. But in the meantime, it can’t be denied that watching a strung- out Cage rough up civilians in search of crack is a pretty good time.