Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
Recommend this product?
Where's the Southern accent? One would think that a movie located in New Orleans would at least try and inject the Southern accent in its acting. Unbelievable!
Nic Cage (Lt. Terence McDonaugh) is a recently promoted lieutenant who has a bad back. That's established early in the movie which takes place post-Katrina. But the movie shows few scenes of a devastated NOLA or the misery and suffering of the city. If you did not know it was post-Katrina, you would think it was pre-Katrina, as the streets, houses, and the people seem normally average. What we see is an alleged character study of a good policeman gone bad. He deteriorates physically and psychically starting with prescription vicodin and escalating to heroin and cocaine. Covertly he stops couples in the middle of the night and robs them of drugs. As he investigates an execution style murder of a Senegalese African drug dealer, he steals drugs from witnesses and houses, bribes property room officers for drugs and gambles with bar owners. The murder investigation takes a back seat to sex and drugs.
The sex is courtesy of a fellow female police officer and his girlfriend, Frankie, played by Eva Mendes, a Cuban-American actress from Miami with an accent from New Hampshire. (what's her occupation? we never know) And that's the problem with the movie. NOLA has a rich cultural flavor that's never captured. As musical as New Orleans is, there is little music score. Did the director know it's Cajun and zydeco country? Not one zydeco band is featured. Not one major actor speaks with a Southern (NOLA) accent. Bottom line, don't go into the Bad Lieutenant expecting a "The Big Easy."
The location doesn't feature hot spots like the French Quarter or the warehouse district. This movie might as well have been filmed in New York.
It's almost comical with the lieutenant speaking lines like,
"There's time I can't get what I need with a prescription."
Val Kilmer is his partner Stevie, and as close as they work he never suspects McDonaugh's drug use. Only a lowly drug dealer he's interrogating knows he's a junky. In a sitdown scene with the main suspect, he lights up a marijuana cigarette. That scene is a joke.
As the movie progresses, the lieutenant's back problem gets so bad he walks like the Hunchback. You would think with such a bad condition, scenes with his doctor would be injected but there's only one small scene between them. The movie is packed with name actors like Irma P. Hall, who has a tiny part, and Vondie Curtis Hall, but they are forgettable as this movie is. There is no tension, no suspense, only the observation of a man slowly going bonkers because he's hooked on drugs.
Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: None of the Above
Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age