The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

DVD Review-Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call-New Orleans

By Ashley Bradley/ne news editor

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call-New Orleans came out on DVD April 6 after a limited release in theaters in November.

In simplest terms, this film is weird.

Though the subject at hand is deeply dramatic and intense, audiences will find themselves laughing for reasons they aren’t 100 percent sure of.

This film, originally intended to be a remake of the 1992 film Bad Lieutenant, ended up only sharing similarities in its main characters — lieutenants addicted to drugs and gambling.

This does not matter. One movie does not mean anything to the other.

In Port of Call-New Orleans, taking place after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Lt. Terence McDonagh, played by Nicolas Cage, finds a family brutally murdered and spends the movie trying to imprison the men that did it.

The fact that he continuously sneaks drugs out of evidence rooms, places bets on football games, tries to protect his hooker girlfriend (Frankie, played by Eva Mendes) from being beaten up and tries to take care of his alcoholic parents doesn’t make the case any easier.

“Right now, I’m working on about an hour and a half of sleep over the past three days,” he tells two elderly women. “And I’m still trying to remain courteous, and I’m beginning to think that it’s getting in the way of me being effective.”

He then cuts off one of their oxygen tubes and points a gun to the other’s head. These women are over the age of 75, and it’s hilarious.

Throughout the movie, the unintended hilarity is too hard to fight, but the darkness and sinisterness make the audience feel bad for laughing. This man McDonagh is so sick, it’s side-splitting.

Director Werner Herzog made a genius move casting Cage in this role. From his sideways eyebrow maneuvers to his flawless depiction of being under the influence of crack, he is the main reason audiences can’t keep from cracking up. 

Throughout the movie, McDonagh has hallucinations that a person can’t just make up.

“What are these iguanas doing on my desk,” he yells at officers doing surveillance. “What iguanas?” his buddy and fellow officer Stevie, played by Val Kilmer, asks back.

Later, a man tries to steal $60,000 worth of crack and gets shot by the prime suspect in McDonagh’s case and now drug-buddy, Big Fate, played by rapper Xzibit.

“Shoot him again!” McDonagh yells at Big Fate. “His soul is still dancing.”

Though the man shot is an older gentleman, the camera centers on a young man with a Mohawk break-dancing in the middle of the office.

Another shot is fired, and the break-dancing man falls to the floor. This makes McDonagh’s day, and mine.

The twists in the end are ones you’ll never guess. Though the movie starts out as another “boring cop movie,” it turns into something extremely different.

It’s a dramatically smart movie.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian