Mr. Movie

'Bad Lieutenant' — great movie

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call — New Orleans is a remake of a 1992 Harvey Keitel movie.

Sort of. Most of you have not heard of either film. The Keitel flick was pretty good. So is this one. Some think it is one of 2009’s best movies.

-- Local show times, theaters, trailer.

I agree.

The title is changed a little as is some of the content and the location. Nicolas Cage takes on the role of the bad lieutenant. More character study than plot focused, Cage is a drug-addicted cop. He’s a total slime ball.

What is right, just and true are not part of his personality equation. No stoop is too low and no deed too dastardly when it comes to getting what he needs: drugs and sex. Woven into the cop’s free fall is a murder, a witness, a prostitute and plenty of plot twists and turns.

Cage is an excellent and versatile actor who seems to have lost his way. He hasn’t been very interesting since Adaptation in 2002. Even then, just about anybody could have done that part. Charlie Kaufman’s most ingenious screenplay is the reason it worked.

Bad Lieutenant gives Cage a chance to bounce all over the place. His character’s manic up and downs require an actor with the chops to make it believable. Cage has them. In spades.

Great performances anchor the film but you have to give director Werner Herzog (the acclaimed documentary Grizzly Man, Rescue Dawn, ) credit for keeping you interested in a movie that really doesn’t have anywhere to go that you haven’t already been — lots of times.

Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars

Rated R for violence, language, drug use, mature themes. It opens Friday, Jan. 22 at the Carmike 12..

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.