'Bad Lieutenant - Special Edition'
(Harvey Keitel, Victor Argo, et al / DVD / R / (1992) 2009 / LGF)
Overview: He has survived on the streets for twenty years. He's a gambler...a thief...a killer and a cop. Now's he's investigating the most shocking case of his life, and as he moves closer to the truth, his self-destructive past is closing in. Harvey Keitel gives a searing performance as an out-of-control police detective on a collision course with disaster in director Abel Ferrara's brilliant and deeply disturbing crime drama.
DVD Verdict: Abel Ferrara has had a long and checkered career in the film industry, never quite achieving commercial success, turning out films that are alternately brilliant and boring. And in the middle of all of it, there is Bad Lieutenant, which to date stands alone as Ferrara's magnum opus, an incredibly powerful piece of work.
The unnamed lieutenant (called "LT" in the credits and played to the hilt by Harvey Keitel) starts off the movie looking like any other guy, but it only takes a few minutes of us looking in on his day to realize this isn't your ordinary cop. In fact, he's a downright sleaze. Soon enough, he catches the case that will end up becoming the focus of his career-- the rape of a young nun (Stigmata's Frankie Thorn). At first, he tries to treat it like every other case, but as his life begins to spiral out of control, he becomes more and more obsessed with the deeper symbolism of the case itself, how justice and forgiveness are two sides of the same coin.
The case is there, but it's only as important to the film as the mythical Mets-Dodgers NL playoff constantly on radios and televisions (obviously meant to mirror the '88 NL playoffs, but the movie's playoffs differ in certain important ways to parallel better with the plot structure)-- both are only pieces of the puzzle that is the lieutenant. The movie is Harvey Keitel's, pure and simple, a character study of a man whose bad habits have finally caught up with him And Keitel plays it wonderfully. He is the reason to watch this movie. And even if he is the only reason (let's be frank, this is not a film for the squeamish!), he's still worth it. The finest performance of Harvey Keitel's career, and that's saying something. [RPB] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Audio Commentary by Director Abel Ferrara and Director of Photography Ken Kelsch
Brand New O-Card Packaging!