Well, all this to say, I really enjoyed it. If you're familiar with Herzog's previous work, it certainly feels like HIS film. It's absurd, zany, and perhaps even messy, but all in an artful and emotionally complex way. Somehow, Herzog is able to perserve the spirit of the original film while taking it somewhere that is altogether new and different.
Highlights for me include a truly wonderful Nicolas Cage performance and a fantastic score by veteran composer, Mark Isham. More than anything though, it's the film's energy that really grabbed me. Often times, the film ventures into places that are incredulous, confusing, even awesomely bizarre, but because it does it all with absolute conviction (think Ian Curtis dancing), it never managed to lose me.
I usually champion films that approach the crime genre straight, not in an ironic way. But here Herzog's treatment is so contagious that I can't help but mention it. In many ways, it reminds me of David Cronenberg's two recent entries (A History of Violence and Eastern Promises) into the genre. It makes me realize that it's these sort of things, great directors working with new genres, that help keep them fresh and alive. After last night, I would be more than thrilled to see Herzog make another crime film.