The news that Werner Herzog was remaking Abel Ferrara’s 1992 controversial cop drama Bad Lieutenant with Nicolas Cage in the Harvey Keitel role raised a lot of questions. First among them: “Why on earth is Werner Herzog remaking Abel Ferrara’s 1992 controversial cop drama Bad Lieutenant with Nicolas Cage in the Harvey Keitel role?” Don’t get me wrong. Herzog is among my favorite directors. Indeed, it is the originality of his style and vision that makes it so odd he would do a remake like this. Also, as the man is hardly synonymous with boffo box office, who would have thought it was a good idea to give him the reins rather than someone like Tony Scott? The decision of Nicolas Cage to step into Keitel’s shoes is less surprising. After all, he thought remaking The Wicker Man was a good idea! One person that definitely did not agree with this project was Ferrara himself, who told Filmmaker Magazine Herzog could “burn in hell.”
A trailer for Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant just hit the Internet and, well, I’m not sure what to say really. Yes, it looks terrible. But in a way that really, really makes me want to see it. There’s just something about a crazed, wildly overacting Nicolas Cage smoking crack and depriving an old woman of her oxygen supply that somehow adds up to a must-watch as far as I’m concerned. Or it’s possible that I may have gone completely insane.
Take a look and tell us what you think.