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Friday, December 26, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 36.0° F  Fair
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Nicolas Cage camps it up in The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans
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Cage plays a thieving, drug-snorting cop.
Cage plays a thieving, drug-snorting cop.

Either The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans is highly entertaining meta-kitsch in the mode of Ken Russell, or it is exquisitely bad. Or it's both. Ask me tomorrow.

In legendary director Werner Herzog's nightmarish vision of post-Katrina New Orleans, Nicolas Cage is the corrupt, thieving, drug-snorting, sports-betting cop Terence McDonagh. He's on a mission to bring justice to the perpetrator of a terrible crime, the execution-style killing of a Senegalese family.

Along the way he speculates about pirate treasure, hallucinates iguanas and a hip-hop dancer, gets a dog, and rips the oxygen tube out of an elderly woman's nose as she's having her hair done. Cage can be shockingly angry and violent here, but I prefer his lazy, stoned interludes, which remind me of his lazy, stoned interludes as the punk in 1983's Valley Girl, still my favorite Cage work.

Bad Lieutenant is laughable, horrifying, cringe-inducing. It's also a lot of fun. You might disagree.

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