"I'll kill all of you. To the break of dawn. To the break of dawn, baby."Nicolas Cage has been having a tough time on the big screen recently, but last year the Oscar winner starred in Werner Herzog's psychological cop thriller The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans, and critics took note. Though he was ignored during award season, Cage reminded us all of the talent which first made him a star back in 1982 with Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
Cage stars as Terence McDonagh, a New Orleans detective who hurts his back on the job and becomes addicted to painkillers which, in turn, throws him into a life of hard core drug abusing, further exacerbated by his insurmountable gambling debt and an equally drug addicted prostitute girlfriend (played by the clearly typecast Eva Mendes). In the midst of everything, the troubled cop is knee-deep in a high-profile case involving the murder of an entire family over drugs. Dangerously mixing business with his favorite poison, both McDonagh's life and job are on the line when he gets too cozy with the drug culprits while trying to crack the case and desperately keep his debtors at bay. And not doing a good job at either thing.
Gritty, raw, and kooky at times, Bad Lieutenant is one of those movies that you can't really look away, even though you may want to for certain scenes. Though the lazy ending almost sabotages the film, Bad Lieutenant is a pretty decent rental.
Cage borrowed a little from his performance in Leaving Las Vegas, but it may just be what's needed to get his career back on track.
Reel Talk rating: B+