This is a review of the movie "Bad Lieutenant" starring Nicolas Cage.
The movie, “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans” is a film following New Orleans police man Terence McDonagh (Nicolas Cage) in the wake of hurricane Katrina. The film delves into the life of Cage’s character, seeing how a back injury that he sustained during the hurricane has affected him several years down the road.
The first scene of the film shows how Terence injured his back during the hurricane. Within the first several minutes of the movie, you find out that a doctor declared him healthy enough to remain on the police force, but that his back pain has him on pain medication. There is a jump of several years in the movie, and you immediately discover that Terence has turned to illegal drugs to easy his pain and now finds himself addicted to them. To feed his addiction, he takes drugs from people for his own use and raids the police station’s evidence room.
The action that sets the track for the film is the murder of several people in their own home. The killings, it was assumed, were a result of drugs and drug dealers. Terence is put on the case, and he takes his job very seriously doing whatever is necessary to find the killer.
There are a multitude of problems, beginning with its R rating. The film is full of bad language and drug use. There is not very much violence in it, but the little that it has is bloody. The film also has sexual content (Terence’s girl friend is a hooker) and disturbing situations. The quality of the movie was not good either. Nicolas Cage was perhaps the best actor in this movie, which is bad considering his acting abilities. The script was poorly written with parts of the movie not appearing to have any bearing on the main story line. The only good thing about the script was that the lines were believable; if only the actors had been better.
The final and most important problem with the movie was its lack of moral compass. Many of the police officers in the film were corrupt like Terence, and the straight ones (like the officer who refused to “take care” of a speeding ticket) were the bad guys. Also, the fact that Terence was trying to bring people to justice for crimes that he himself was committing makes it hard to cheer for him. In fact, with practically all of the characters starting out as bad people, the only one that changed at all was Terence’s drug addict, hooker girl friend who decided to go to rehab, much to his chagrin.
Basically, “Bad Lieutenant” is a movie that shows real life at its worst. There are no heroes, only one person to turn from her evil ways, and no salvation even wanted by the others. The only thing that this movie does is show the utter depravity of men, a task that it preforms very well.