A study in marketing realignment. The first trailer (after the cut) sold this as a crackbrained farce of edgy lunacy, and now they’ve gone all throbbing Law & Order on our ass. The be-bop hoedown harmonica and bluesy guitar pickin’ of trailer #1 has been replaced by waves of crashing chords and thunderous timpani plonking out like a standard police procedural. Even the iguana look more ominous — and more contrived — in this attempt to readjust our expectations toward the new knockoff of The Bad Lieutenant. I almost wish they’d commit to the campy Caginess, but at least nobody strained the chewy globs of pulp out of this synopsis:
In Werner Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, Nicolas Cage plays a rogue detective who is as devoted to his job as he is at scoring drugs — while playing fast and loose with the law. He wields his badge as often as he wields his gun in order to get his way. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina he becomes a high-functioning addict who is a deeply intuitive, fearless detective reigning over the beautiful ruins of New Orleans with authority and abandon. Complicating his tumultuous life is the prostitute he loves (played by Eva Mendes). Together they descend into their own world marked by desire, compulsion, and conscience.
“a world of desire, compulsion, and conscience” — in other words, just like your world and mine, though maybe without so many prostitution complications. So what is this schizophrenic thing? Hardcore bad-ass calamity, or balls-out screwball comedy? As a prostitute friend of mine often used to ask: “Who’s lying?”