“Hey man, I got on Swiss cotton underpants!”
I’d go ahead and say that’s the best line featured in a trailer, uh, ever, if it weren’t for the equally fantastic morsel that comes about a minute later: “What are these iguanas doing on my coffee table?”
Those two bits of unfettered nuttiness pretty much sum up Werner Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, an awesomely off-the-wall sort-of remake of Abel Ferrara’s 1992 cult classic, Bad Lieutenant. This one stars Nic Cage as Terence McDonagh, a once honest cop in the Big Easy who gets addicted to pills, coke, crack, smack, and everything else you might dream up, and steadily goes off the rails. When it played at the Toronto film festival last month, I had a blast sitting through it. It’s unmistakeably Herzog. And it’s got Cage back to doing the bizarro nutjob thing he does like no one else in Hollywood. It’s for precisely these kinds of performances that I’ve defended Cage over the years. Sure, he makes his share of low-brow paycheck flicks that are easy to hate on, but I can always count on him to circle back in a role that turns up the berserk brilliance to 11. Bad Lieutenant is one of those. I don’t think I’ve been as entertained by this Nic Cage since Wild at Heart. Without spoiling anything, let me just say: Wait till you see the soul-dancing that Cage refers to at the end of the trailer.
So, do you like your Nic Cage with a side of bonkers? Will you check him out in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans? What’s your all-time favorite Cage performance?