This film could have been very good if it hadn't been for the fact that the director chose to turn it into some kind of black comedy. There are some very serious issues in this movie, yet too often it veers into the absurd, using humour in the most inappropriate ways. As a consequence, it becomes difficult for the viewer to take what is happening to the Nicholas Cage character with any seriousness.
Frankly, I do not understand why Werner Herzog took this film into the realm of the bizarre. Undoubtedly, he does get a magnificent performance from Nicholas Cage, his hunched back in the film giving him a surreal and ghoulish disposition. If this film is meant to be some kind of allegory about the corruption of an inherently good cop and decent man, or I hope I am wrong, how corruption is innate in the New Orleans police department, then I suppose this film can be justified by its approach. However, I did not expect this kind of tongue and cheek direction about the corruption of a good cop, but more a serious film that described the corruption of a good cop and his descent into oblivion and violence. Maybe Werner Herzog wanted to make another film a la Pulp Fiction.
This film garnered pretty good reviews from the professional critics, but I personally was disappointed with it. The film is entertaining enough thanks to Cage's performance, but the film veers too often into the absurd for its own good.