This is Werner Herzog:
(portrait © Robin Holland)
It’s rather safe to say that he’s one of cinema’s indisputable masters. He’s made masterworks like Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Fitzcarldo and Grizzly Man. He’s also a man of his word. In short, Werner Herzog’s on the short list of the Bestest, and he’s now made Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. It’s about a cocaine-addicted police officer without any moral scruples and a major case of sailor’s mouth (ruh-roh!), and it stars Nicolas Cage (double, all-caps RUH-ROH!). This is the trailer, which is not safe for work and will probably have my mother asking me why I get a thrill out of such garbage:
Crimminy crap, such garbage! But hilarious garbage, to be sure! There’s no point in even commenting on Nicolas Cage’s performance because we’ve all come to expect him to be consistently, categorically insane. He has a lucky crack pipe, he hallucinates iguanas, and he fires off his gun so onlookers will leave him be while he has public sex with crack whores. Nicolas Cage’s officially our generation’s John Wayne, the grand camp jester of histrionic masculinity; he’s brilliant. I think what’s more important is the rest of this cast. Serioulsly, y’all, it doesn’t make a damn lick of sense.
Xzibit’s in a Werner Herzog movie? I’m sorry, but huh? Xzibit is known for pimping people’s rides, whereas Werner Herzog is known for his work with the inimitable Klaus Kinski. Call me crazy, but one of these is quite simply not like the other. Also, what happened to Val Kilmer? He looks like he’s taking work out tips from Jesse Metcalfe. Added to that, there’s Eva Mendes (???) and Jennifer Coolidge (???, but also !!!), and there’s going to be a bitchfight between between the two in which Eva Mendes threatens to stab Jennifer Coolidge in the heart? Oh, and Fairuza Balk is also going to be in it? She’s always brings some fabulous crazy to her performances, which of course means I love her! And let’s not forget that this cast has been assembled for a Werner Herzog movie! DOES NOT COMPUTE!
What really dazzles me, however, is that movie is made by WERNER FREAKIN’ HERZOG! Has he had such an impressive cinematic career by storing up all his terrible ideas and train wreck impulses for a single movie of undiluted awful? Is that the secret to his success, a veritable bad idea box? This trailer certainly makes you wonder. I mean, if this movie is being played straight-faced and serious, then Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans is going to be downright epic. I’m not trying to accuse Werner Herzog of being humorless, but his track record doesn’t exactly suggest he’s the man you’d expect to direct a tongue-in-cheek satire of the crooked-cop genre. Then again, knowing Werner Herzog, it probably is a satire of all the bad-cop movies, but we aren’t expecting it to be a comedy because it’s directed by Werner Herzog, so Bad Lieutenant‘s actually both a parody and a critique of the audience’s expectation from auteur filmmakers. So Bad Lieutenant is just like Showgirls. Except meta. I think.
Frankly, the only thing I’m certain of is that I must see this movie as soon as humanly possible. Otherwise, this trailer is honestly too ridiculous to even begin to understand. It makes me long for the days of Powder Blue, days where you could safely watch trailers for bad movies and not have to wonder if this isn’t just a giant mind fuck by one of cinema’s great filmmakers. Werner Herzog: (possible) cinematic game changer, y’all.
I told you he’s a genius.
Cheers to Videogum for finding this brilliant disaster bomb.