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USA 1992
Directed by
Abel Ferrara
97 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2 stars

Bad Lieutenant

Ferrara's follow-up to King Of New York (1990) is highly regarded in some quarters but Bad Lieutenant is a one-note litany of the antics of a bad, bad cop and suffers from the absence of any "real" context for its protagonist's descent into hell:  he never does any detective work, has no associates, never speaks to his family and we have no idea why he's so so bitter and twisted. Then flavour-of-the-month actor, Harvey Keitel, on a holiday from Martin Scorsese's repertory throws himself with gusto into the role but as the principal virtue of the film, co-scripted by Ferrara and Zoë Lund, who appears in it as a hooker, is in mirroring a society lost in a wallow of self-gratification this does not offer much of interest, except for those who can only self-gratify themselves vicariously.




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