Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bad Lieutenant - not a remake (2009)

Last night I had the pleasure of watching Bad Lieutenant, not the original but also not a remake - mostly. Sure, it's about a drug addicted cop who does things his way -  accepts drugs and sex as bribes, steals from the property room and shacks up with a hooker - but only some of those elements are in the original and if the director of the flick says this wasn't intended as a remake, then that's good enough for me.

This is pretty much the expression he wears all movie
This is pretty much the expression he wears all movie

This movie is about a cop (Nicholas Cage in a rare good performance) with a bad back who takes a lot of drugs to deal with the pain - or at least that's his easy excuse for being consistently fucked up on coke, painkillers, crack etc. The great thing about this movie is that he remains the same character from beginning to end, fucking things up, making them right and putting the bad guys away. There were two ways I interpreted the ending; first it could be a drug induced dream and secondly it was the real deal. As shown, instead of being caught out and learning from his mistakes, he solves all his problems through the judicious use of drugs and know-how and in the end he's cruising along in his usual drug induced haze.

You can consider the ending real or a crack pipe dream, it's never clearly stated and the viewer is left to their own discretion. I liked it, it wasn't your usual bullshit happy ending.All things considered I believe the ending was real, if a bit jokey. Cage's character went on to feign sobriety in front of his ex-junkie ex-hooker wife as well as his recovered alcoholic dad and step-mum. These were the only people who knew or had an inkling of his secret life before they reformed, and he simply added them to the list of people he lies too. There's a glimmer of redemption in the final scene but that's how it stays. Just a possibility, then the credits roll.As a whole movie I think this worked. Ignore the naysayers clinging to their original cult classic (which I've never seen), this is a similar movie with a different story and worthy of viewing in its own right. Some of the cinematography was odd but I forgive that for the way the rest of the story was so well told, shot and wrapped up.

Snorting coke off your hand in a dimly lit toilet never played out so good - 7/10

ps. Still no nudie pics, none of the women in this movie appear to have removed more than an overcoat in their movie career. Sorry.

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