I bet you never thought there would be a movie with a title like this showing at Plaza Frontenac Cinema, but there is. This is screenwriter Victor Argo’s inexplicable follow-up to his highly controversial 1992 film, Bad Lieutenant. Renowned independent film director Werner Herzog helms this project, a dark glimpse into the many sources of corruption that present themselves to law enforcement.
Terence McDonagh (Nicolas Cage) is a good cop. In 2004, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, he jumps into rising flood waters to free a drowning inmate and sustains a severe back injury. For his heroism he gets a promotion…and a nasty addiction to painkillers. Now a high-functioning addict, Terence spends his time alternating between solving gruesome murders and scoring drugs for himself and his prostitute girlfriend, Frankie (Eva Mendes).
This film is not without its flaws. I found it odd, for example, that not one cast member even attempted a Southern accent. Other than the Katrina reference, why even set the film in New Orleans? The acting was excellent—no one can play a person under the influence better, but the plot—the murder investigation—takes a back seat to Terence’s devolution, intentionally so. In the end, the movie is a stunning portrait of addiction and, in many ways, redemption.