Werner Herzog is easily among my top five directors of all time and I have a faith in this man unlike little else. And even I’m not sure what to make of this.
Now, when it was announced a ways back that Herzog was remaking Abel Ferarra’s 1992 drama Bad Lieutenant with none other than Nicolas Cage, I was intrigued. Confused, but intrigued. When he said that he had never seen the original film and it wasn’t a “remake,” I was very intrigued. But part of me didn’t really believe that any of this was real. Even when the poster on the left was released, it still seemed fake.
Well, now it’s all very real. Now there’s this trailer for Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans and I just don’t know what to say. It’s not at all what I expected despite the fact that I had no idea what to expect. It’s pretty obvious, too, that Herzog hasn’t seen the original and isn’t concerned with that.
The original is a good film, but more of a performance movie than anything else, showcasing the incredible talent of Harvey Keitel. It’s certainly not the over-the-top black comedy that’s on display here.
Some of it’s awesome, some of it’s not, and some of it’s just plain fucked up. But one thing’s for sure: none of it is recognizably Herzog. To watch this trailer and think to myself that it was made by the same guy that gave me Fitzcarraldo, Aguirre The Wrath of God, and The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser simply blows my mind.
The Herzog I know is a quiet and somber filmmaker whose films ponder the unanswerable questions of the human condition. This movie looks like a send-up of dirty-cop movies like the original, Training Day, Harsh Times, etc. And that’s not Herzog territory at all.
Anyway, enough with my confused bewilderment. I’m holding onto my Herzog-loyalty and my complete faith in the man and trusting him with this one. If nothing else, it’s certainly mighty quotable.
My soul’s still dancing!