It all starts out placid enough, with Nic Cage's copper getting a gong at a swanky ceremony. "It gives me great pleasure to award the distinguished service cross to sergeant Terence McDonough." So that's his name, eh?
Wonder if he's really a good cop? We're going to bet... no.
A trip to the doctor reveals Terry has some issues - back issues.
"The good news is Terrence, I’ll return you to full duty," says the medical man. "The bad news is that in all likelihood you’ll be experiencing moderate to severe back pain.”
"For the rest of my life?" squawks an anguished Cage. We're glad the doctor didn't also mention his rubbish hair...
Uh oh... Looks like he turns to drugs to cure his pain. Though honestly, he was probably already addicted before the back problems...
"It’s amazing how much you can get done when you’ve got a simple purpose guide you through life." Also, how much you can get done when you snort mood enhancing narcotics up your schnozz every day. Don't try that last bit at home, kids.
Killer on the loose
The first actual plot thread arrives in the shape of a dangerous lunatic on the run. "This is who we’re looking for: we believe he’s also behind at least three homicides," says Cage's boss at a briefing.
"You don’t wanna look," Terry is advised by a crime scene colleague as he inspects two bodies. "Execution style."
Why is it whenever anyone is told not to look at dead bodies swimming in blood, the first thing they do is grab a peek? People should just stop saying that.
Oh, and the police are flummoxed except for one witness. "We have no prints, no DNA, no weapon. We lose the kid, we lose the case."
Guess who gets to look after him?
Aand here's one of the other plotlines - the lovely Eva Mendes as a battered woman Cage can't help but protect. At least, we *think* he'll protect her. He seems as dodgy as her boyfriend/hubby/whatever.
"We don’t hit women down south," Cage warns the bloke. Well, the movie was made in New Orleans. It's good to have lines like this to keep the tax credits coming.
Uh oh, corruption time... "Let’s take a walk," Cage tells a perp. "I’m gonna give you a chance to make some money the old fashioned way, with a cop protecting her." Old fashioned way... like... prostitution? Bribery? Both of those are fairly old-fashioned. But then they just keep coming back...
Oh, he's a wrong un' all right - cutting off a poor granny's oxygen supply because she won't reveal where the witness kid is. Nicely done!
Sadly, it lands him with the threat of a formal complaint, but he doesn't seem that worried.
After all, he gets up to much worse - such as holding his hun at more than one person's head. And swearing, which is even worse: "I said where the f**k is he?!"
Okay, maybe the gun thing is worse.
Oooh... our first look at Terry's drug-induced hallucinations. "What are these f**kin’ iguanas doing on my coffee table?" he demands of Val Kilmer's fellow cop. "There ain’t no iguanas," comes the reply.
The picture goes crazy and blurry. Crazy + blurry= drugs. It's the law.
"Are you turned on?" asks the almost-as-lovely-as-Eva Fairuza Balk in her bra and pants. Er, yes? Oh, she meant Terry.
Someone's accepting sexual favours as a bribe, then. Do we blame him? Not really.
We also see Terry go mad at a chemists' shop, demanding his prescription in typical Nic Cage OTT style. Time to lose the tics, Nic.
"You can’t get away with that cowboy s**t anymore," Terry's boss warns him, but we see that he apparently can. Sex with a drug-snorting hooker plus keeping someone from running by firing a warning shot. Yeah, seems cowboy-like to us. Clint Eastwood used to do it all the time.
A concerned Kilmer starts trying to clean up Cage's mess. "He acts like he likes you because he likes to get high," he explains. No... really?
A lucky what?
Here's where the movie really goes off the deep end. First off, Terry snorting crack with thugs. "You don’t have a lucky crack pipe?" he asks?
There's surely no way this stuff is staying in the official trailer- the MPAA would have collective brain spasms.
Dear Mr Herzog: we think you're trying to hard to top Abel Ferrara. And we're not convinced you don't know who he is.
Kill that breakdancer!
Plus our final moment - Cage watches as some bad guys shoot up a room. But one victim won't go down - at least not according to his drug-soaked mind: "Shoot him again," he says as he watches a crazy-blurry breakdancer gyrate. "His soul is still dancing." See what we mean about blurry +crazy?
Will this be as good as Bad Lieutenant? We doubt it. Will it provide Nic Cage with a vehicle to push the limits of craziness? Probably. Do we want to see it based on this? Maybe...