(No longer in theaters)
Edward R. Pressman, Stephen Belafonte
First Look Pictures
Nov 20, 2009
If there’s a sure thing in movies, it’s that if you cast Nicolas Cage in a role in which he goes crazy, he’ll rise to the occasion and keep on rising until he seems even loonier than his character. In Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (a sequel to Abel Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant in name only), he plays Terence McDonagh, whose back is injured as he saves a prisoner when the levees break. As he moves from prescription painkillers to huge amounts of crack and smack, his shoulders stiffen, eyes bulge, and lips pull back to reveal hungry choppers. He’s like a vampirized Richard Nixon. Werner Herzog directed, deftly at first (plenty of noir atmosphere) but with escalating wigginess, as if trying to keep up with his leading man. Talk about the burden of dreams!