Crazy Town: Werner Herzog's "Bad Lieutenant Port of Call New Orleans"

By robbiefreeling | REVERSEBLOG: the reverse shot blog November 23, 2009 at 3:39AM

Werner Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is camp on arrival. With a name and aesthetic that recalls direct-to-video sequels (Lost Boys: The Tribe, Roadhouse 2: Last Call, or Darkman III: Die Darkman Die anyone?), the film arrives about six months after its loony internet trailer became a viral “this can’t be real” laughingstock— more than enough time for defenders, Herzogians, so-bad-it’s-good Snakes on a Plane enthusiasts, and Nicolas Cage lovers to settle on an appropriately slanted vantage from which to appreciate the film. If you’ve seen that trailer, or any clips since, and are still excited about this proudly superfluous reboot of a 1992 Abel Ferrara film, then you’re likely also intimate with the word “awesome” as a term of enthusiastic, double-sided irony. As it happens, much of Herzog’s film is indeed “awesome” as campy, seedy, awkward entertainment. It also occasionally transcends those quotes. But art so fleetingly glimpsed only demonstrates how hard it is to make of low-rent trash something truly sublime. Even though this is Herzog and Cage’s wheelhouse—each in his own way is a spectacle of ridiculous genius—Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is too half-assed and knowing to be really, deliriously mad. Click here to read the rest of Eric Hynes's review of Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.
1

Werner Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is camp on arrival. With a name and aesthetic that recalls direct-to-video sequels (Lost Boys: The Tribe, Roadhouse 2: Last Call, or Darkman III: Die Darkman Die anyone?), the film arrives about six months after its loony internet trailer became a viral “this can’t be real” laughingstock— more than enough time for defenders, Herzogians, so-bad-it’s-good Snakes on a Plane enthusiasts, and Nicolas Cage lovers to settle on an appropriately slanted vantage from which to appreciate the film. If you’ve seen that trailer, or any clips since, and are still excited about this proudly superfluous reboot of a 1992 Abel Ferrara film, then you’re likely also intimate with the word “awesome” as a term of enthusiastic, double-sided irony. As it happens, much of Herzog’s film is indeed “awesome” as campy, seedy, awkward entertainment. It also occasionally transcends those quotes. But art so fleetingly glimpsed only demonstrates how hard it is to make of low-rent trash something truly sublime. Even though this is Herzog and Cage’s wheelhouse—each in his own way is a spectacle of ridiculous genius—Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is too half-assed and knowing to be really, deliriously mad. Click here to read the rest of Eric Hynes's review of Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.