So, due to the pure lunacy of the trailer I've watched a half dozen times or so, I'm very excited about Herzog and Cage's "re-imagining" of Abel Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant. To borrow a word from Ain't It Cool News, it better be "batshit" crazy.
But can it really top the original? I mean, let's think about this. Within the first half hour of that film we've seen Harvey Keitel (a) snort cocaine in his kids' school's parking lot, (b) do some sort of drugged-out full-frontal naked penguin walk, (c) shoot his car radio because of the baseball score, and (d) sexually harass two underage girls at a traffic stop by making one show him her ass while the other pantomimes a blowjob. Top that, Herzog and Cage, I dare you!
Checking out Ferrara's film again after a long, long while, I was pleased to feel that it remains a real film, not just a collection of provocations, with a masterful performance by Keitel. In fact, what happens in the film is far more interesting than my memory of the film. While I was thinking that the film played out as more of a revenge picture (depraved cop finds salvation in avenging the murder of a raped nun), it's actually a more complex inquiry into faith, the story of a man who is forced to recognize some divine order more powerful than his human need for revenge.
Herzog, of course, is a serious filmmaker, so it will be interesting to see what in hell he's up to with this new re-imagining which, at the very least, should provide Cage a more suitable vehicle for his gonzo acting. But somehow I don't feel it's going to have the power of Ferrara's flick.