New Order lost their edge a long time ago, and though they have some great records, they’re a bit dull to my ear when compared with their first incarnation, Joy Division. Just as the remaining members went on with a new name and sound after Ian Curtis’ death, so do they now after ditching bassist Peter Hook. Good on them, it’s sure not New Order without him. In his stead, they’ve picked up Alex James from Blur and the name Bad Lieutenant. From what I’ve heard so far, they don’t live up to the name.
And make no mistake, there is only one “Bad Lieutenant” they could be referring to and that’s Abel Ferrara’s 1992 masterwork starring Harvey Keitel. Why you would want to take that name and then write namby-pamby songs about hurting and being a wuss, I don’t know. Sure, those are the kind of songs I hum to myself, but I don’t go around calling myself Bad Lieutenant.
Even more mind blowing though is this Werner Herzog remake/sequel/rip off called, “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.” I’ve been unable to excuse the Grand Theft Auto style title but given that it’s Herzog, I figured there had to be something great about it. Why else would you eff with a legendary film like “Bad Lieutenant?” Herzog’s ill conceived title stars Nicolas Cage and Val Kilmer, which is so whack you’d think Herzog knew something no one else did. After all, both actors were once Gods in my book, but aside from one offs like Kilmer’s Gay Perry in 2005’s “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,” he’s been a shabby idol. For Cage, you have to go back much further for anything remotely worthwhile, maybe 2002’s “Adaptation.” “Moonstruck” and “Wild At Heart” were a lifetime ago.
I remember talking to a sound guy for the original film, a couple years after it came out and being in awe of everything he said. He described the hair pulling pace, the jacked up atmosphere and how Keitel and Ferrara were just making shit up left and right. He said the script he had was like 4 pages long and that everything was basically invented as they went along, as if those guys had intimate experience with the subject matter.
By contrast, Herzog’s writer is a TV cop show guy. And it looks like neither of them have the chops for a film using “Bad Lieutenant” in the title. If this trailer is any indication, the music is going to blow too. I’d like to re-cut it with nothing but Keitel’s tortured, hilarious moaning over it.