Monday, January 9, 2012

Bad Lieutenant (1992)

Two years after King Of New York Abel Ferrara throws The Bad Lieutenant at us. Personally preferring this film over King Of New York (which I am also a very big fan of) it is easy for me to go back and watch this one again and again.

Harvey Keitel is not a happy man in this movie. His character is about as low as you can get. Human life means nothing to him. Not his own or the suffering people from the New York City streets. He spends his time drinking excessively and doing lots of drugs with prostitutes. He shoots heroin, snorts cocaine, smokes crack & opium right in front of us. The audience cant help but wonder how long he will last and it seems inevitable that he will meet his fate soon. Not to mention that there is a crime lord who is out to blow him away due to the fact that he owes him a $120,000 for some bad bets on the world series. While Baseball is not my thing, cinema is and The Bad Lieutenant offers up crazy scenes of sex & violence.

A nun is gang raped by two young criminals. There is a $50,000 reward for the man who catches the scum who did it. Harvey has to make a decision whether or not he will follow through with the case and use the money to pay off the man who has a hit on him or continue going about his evil ways. His character also struggles with religion in general and in one of the most memorable scenes Keitel kneels before Jesus and calls him a "Rat-Fuck". Then in the next moment he prays for forgiveness. "Where were you? Forgive me. I did so many bad things".

The Bad Lieutenant has a very nihilistic ending that leaves the viewer thinking after its all done and over with in a very similar way to The King Of New York. Its almost as if Keitel excepts his fate and knows it is to late for him. So in a final act of goodness (or is it?) he lets the criminals go in hope that they will find a better life. His life for theirs in a sense.

Oh and in case you wanted to see Harvey Keitel naked one more time, watch for an incredibly awkward scene of swinging Keitel dick. It shouldn't disappoint you.

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