In fusing European experimentalism and Hollywood boldness, Herzog has created a genuine oddity, a furious and unforgettable hybrid which may well prove to be 2010's most purely enjoyable moviegoing experience.
As his 1996 Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas proved, Nicolas Cage is at his best when sailing close to the edge with substance abuse, though some viewers will baulk when he takes out his misdirected anger on a defenceless old lady.
As always with Herzog, the more eccentric scenes have an eerie, hilarious mastery. And only someone with the metaphysical élan of Herzog could pull off a film noir that takes place mostly in fierce sunlight.
There is really no way to describe the playfulness and exquisite timing of the comedy in this film. It is partially Herzog's zany artistry, and partly Cage's masterful control of facial expressions and comic timing.