Bad Lieutenant Review – Nicolas Cage Dazzles in Must Watch Film

A man without a gun is not a man
– Nicolas Cage’s character Terrence McDonagh in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans after his gun is taken away by fellow cops for misbehavior with an old woman.

Darn, sometimes we make the stupidest moves.

Like for instance, not watching Nicolas Cage’s Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans in the theater.

We watched the previews of the movie at one of the Ritz theaters in Philadelphia and found it very appealing.

But for some reason that eludes us now we ultimately never saw the flick (did the movie even get a wide release here) on the big screen.

Instead, we went and watched tons of junk movies like  Paiyaa, My Name is Khan, Kedi, Veer, Varudu, Pravarakyudu, Goa, Arya 2 et al.

What’s wrong with us.

Mucho stupid, right.

So when we learned this morning that RedBox (the $1 DVD rental kiosk in the U.S.) had released the movie, we hotfooted over to the nearest kiosk for our Cage fix.

To all the desis here who think $1 is a buck too much and would rather wait for the ‘Free RedBox Code,’ the movie also features the Hollywood sizzler Eva Mendes.

We finished watching the 2-hour movie a short while ago.


Doesn’t that single word say it all, schmucks.

You need more? Well, here you go.

If this is not Nicolas Cage’s finest performance, could any of ye dodos please let us know of any better.

Non-Pareil Cop
Cage plays a New Orleans cop Terrence McDonagh in the aftermath of Katrina.

But the hurricane itself, destructive as it was, is really not relevant to the movie at all. Merely, the starting point of the movie when we see a flooded lockup in a police station, a snake slithering in the water and a nervous prisoner petrified at the swiftly rising water. Even as his colleagues are willing to abandon the guy behind bars, Sergeant Terrence jumps into the water, his $55 fine underwear notwithstanding.

The reward – a chronic back pain and promotion to lieutenant.

Of course, Cage is the bad lieutenant Terrence McDonagh (just promoted from sergeant at the start), the anti-hero of the fast-paced movie.

As the coke-snorting, gambling addict, crooked cop in love with his hooker girl-friend Frankie (Eva Mendes) and willing to yank the the oxygen tubes of an old woman to extract information on a key eyewitness to a bloody murder, Nicolas Cage’s performance as the forever-high cop in  Bad Lieutenant is nothing short of brilliant.

As Terrence forges ahead in the investigation of the murder of the illegal immigrants from Senegal, his life is spiraling out of control under the weight of his many vices – the crazy drug-habit, the insane gambling addiction and his frequent cow-boy antics.

In one of his forever highs, and in one of the finest moments in the movie, Terrence stops a young couple at an open parking lot just after they have exited a club, pulls the girl’s panties down right there and screws her as they smoke a joint mouth-to-mouth.

Boy, we sure got off on that scene as we did when Terrence insists his dope-peddling accomplices shoot an already dead-man again. As he explains with a wild laugh at the end of the sentence:

His soul is still dancing. Hee haa hee.

But then Cage also gets solid help in the fine screenplay by William Finkelstein that keeps the action churning on the screen, almost all of it with Cage center-stage.

One of the disappointments of the movie, albeit minor given all the ad infinitum excitement unfolding on the screen, is that Eva Mendes (Remember Hitch, anyone?) doesn’t have that prominent a role.

Folks, whether you are a Nicolas Cage fan or not, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is a must watch film.

A treat, guys. A real treat.

By the way, Netflix has the DVD too.

Related Content
Preview: Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

11 Responses to "Bad Lieutenant Review – Nicolas Cage Dazzles in Must Watch Film"

  1. The Mahatma   April 14, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Have you watched Leaving Las Vegas? He won an Oscar for that.. as an alcoholic.. guess that’s his thing.. playing an addict.

    Now Wii is also able to play Netflix streams.. It is wi-fi, but not HD. It provides the ability to add movies to the instant queue without a PC.

    Probably ideal for the small TV in the workout room.. Wii is a great thing.. whenever I feel the need to refresh myself during work hours, I’ll smash some tennis balls, hit some home runs, play some table tennis and tee off on the Wii.. Highly recommended. Responds:

    No, we haven’t watched Leaving Las Vegas.

    Will watch soon.

    No Wii here.

    Just back from NYC.

    Good Food. Good movie. Both Reviews coming tomorrow.

  2. iamsumu   April 14, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    What, Bad Lieutenant is Cage’s “finest” performance? That would be tough, considering he was impressive in “Leaving Las Vegas” or one of my favorite films, “Adaptation”.
    I’d agree that his selection is a mixed bag of gems and poop(Bangkok Dangerous anyone).
    Will definitely watch this one soon. Responds:

    Cage is very good in Bad Lieutenant. Really. Worth the $1 RedBox rental.

    Yes, we’ve seen Bangkok Dangerous. Remember only those chases (boat, motorbike et al).

    Adaptation looks very interesting based on the Wiki profile.

    • The Mahatma   April 15, 2010 at 10:05 am

      Yeah, Adaptation was a fine movie.. I remember (vaguely) that Cage’s wasn’t the best role in the movie.. Chris Cooper stole the show? I remember the Judy Greer scene very well, though.

      Asha Tampa has broken up with you on facebook and twitter.. She is mighty P.O.ed… poor thing. Responds:

      You write above: Asha Tampa has broken up with you on facebook and twitter..

      Not to worry.

      Who knows….there may be others in the Tampa clan who could still be reading us. 😉

      BTW, just got Martin Scorses’s King of Comedy (Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis) in the mail.

      • iamsumu   April 15, 2010 at 2:52 pm

        Agree that Chris cooper did a fine job, winning an Oscar in the process, but Cage got robbed of his due. The dual roles played by him should be watched by our Indian actors before they think of playing multiple roles.

        Spike Jonze who directed this movie, i think, made another gem “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” which had an excellent screenplay and strong performances by the leading cast members. You guys should put it in your Netflix queue, if you haven’t watched it already. Responds:

        You write: Spike Jonze who directed this movie, i think, made another gem “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” which had an excellent screenplay and strong performances by the leading cast members. You guys should put it in your Netflix queue

        Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was not made by Spike Jonze but by a French man Michel Gondry.

        The movie got two Oscar nominations and went on to win the Academy Award for best original screenplay. Source: Wiki

        Added Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to our Netflix queue…since it’s on Instant Play, we’ll watch it tonight or tomorrow.

  3. DW-A(1/2)Dr.   April 14, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    Offtopic: Happy Bihu, Bisu, Vishu, Puthanandu, Baisakhi etc. etc.(depending on which variation u prefer) to all SI Blog readers and u too SI! Responds:

    Thank you. 🙂

    And we wish you all the same.

  4. DW-A(1/2)Dr.   April 14, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    Offtopic: Here’s a music suggestion that I think u’ll like. “Toss the feathers” is an Irish folk song. The version performed by The Corrs, a celtic band is the one i’m talking about. Its on youtube. Responds:

    Watching/Listening to Toss the Feathers.

    We’ll take the flautist and drummer. You can have the pianist. 😉

    The beat of the drums and music reminds us of our favorite RiverDance. BTW, RiverDance is also Irish.

    • The Mahatma   April 15, 2010 at 12:51 pm

      Andrea is playing a tin whistle.. so she is a whistler.
      Caroline is playing the Bodhrán… Looks like our Thappatai or Parai used in our Dappanguthu

      Poor violinist Sharon has no takers.. I also want Andrea. Responds:

      1. You write above: I also want Andrea.

      Yeah, you and a billion others.

      BTW, she’s married to a billionaire’s son. 🙁

      Caroline is married too and with three kids now. 🙁 🙁 🙁

      Your best bet is the pianist Jim. 😉

      He is single now, having separated from former Miss Northern Ireland Gayle Williamson.

      2. Thanks for the education on the Bodhrán.

  5. sundeep   April 15, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Have you seen Nicolas Cage in Windtalkers? I loved the movie. Turns out it didn’t do well at the box office but the movie was great fun to watch. Responds:

    No, we haven’t seen The Windtalkers.

    The Nicolas Cage movies we’ve seen are Bangkok Dangerous, Next, The Rock and maybe a couple of others.

  6. ravihyd84   April 15, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Did you watch Mullholland Dr? Eager to know your comments on that.. Responds:

    No, on our list.

    Tonight, it’ll be Scorsese’s The King of Comedy.

    • The Mahatma   April 15, 2010 at 3:11 pm

      I don’t know how Mullholland Dr. came into discussion (but I guess it is more relevant to this review than Bodhrán).. the director David Lynch directed Cage in

      We can see Jurassic Park’s Laura Dern in a very steamy role in that one… Wild at Heart is coming to Netflix streaming on April 23.

      And Netflix has started streaming movies on the Wii. And I once again highly recommend the Wii to everyone. It is like the fridge.. every house needs one. Responds:

      1. Netflix doesn’t have the Wild at Heart DVD. Wonder why!

      2. Do you rent the Wii games (Blockbuster et al) or buy ’em?

      • The Mahatma   April 15, 2010 at 5:51 pm

        I buy my Wii games.. well-proven ones.. Only hard-core gamers will be able to decipher and enjoy games in such a short (rental) period. Wii ($199) comes bundled with and that itself should keep a non-gamer occupied for more than a year..

        Charlie Kaufman is the common connection between Eternal.. and Adaptation.

        SI, One more for your Kaufmania, you can watch
        This one has Spike Jonze directing it. Responds:

        Unsure if we should take the Wii plunge when we have so much to do and, alas, so little time. 🙁

        Yes, we saw Being John Malkovich on Netflix earlier today. Added to Instant Queue.

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