Looks great on paper. Nicolas Cage as a vampire? It’s a role he was born to play; oddly, it hasn’t happened before (sorry, Vampire’s Kiss doesn’t count).
Dracula’s long-suffering servant Renfield — or, in vampire parlance, “the familiar” — suffers from codependency issues and seeks help in a support group ? It sounds funny. Original story by Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead ? I was there.
Bottom line Anemia.
: Friday, April Throwing
: Nicholas Hoult , Nicolas Cage, Awkwafina , Shohreh Aghdashloo, Ben Schwartz, Adrian Martinez, Brandon Scott Jones
: Chris McKay
: Ryan Ridley Rated R, 1 hour minutes
So why did Renfield downplay those promising aspects and it turned out to be a mess?
The movie, born of Universal’s understandably ongoing attempt to capitalize on its classic monster IP, certainly got off to a promising start. Renfield, played by Nicholas Hoult, provides background information on his relationship with vampires and uses scenes from to illustrate his Narrative of Tod Browning classic movie Dracula . Cage and Hoult were digitally inserted into the shot, replacing Bela Lugosi and the great Dwight Frye, and it was a complete kick. You find yourself waiting to see if Zelig will show up.
Then Renfield showed up at the support group, led by the friendly, enthusiastic Mark (Brandon Scott Jones, Ghosts on CBS)), only to find that his problems with Nosferatu are not quite on the same level as other members who suffer from the standard toxic relationship problems. So far, so good.
Then, for some unexplainable reason, Renfield became, most importantly, a An ordinary crime drama. We’re introduced to Rebecca (Awkwafina), a New Orleans cop frustrated with being relegated to monitoring drunk driver checkpoints instead of hunting down the Lobo crime family responsible for the death of her officer’s father. The group is led by the elegant Bellafrancesca (Shohreh Aghdashloo) and her brash son Tedward (Ben Schwartz, clearly amused), who eventually finds himself confronting Dracula in his lair and gleefully becomes his undead minion one.
Ryan Ridley’s convoluted screenplay proves less compelling as Lobos’s heavily armed henchmen storm her in search of suspects Renfield and Rebecca save her life and end up being an unlikely duo at a bar where Renfield and Rebecca are at a bar. The reason Renfield was able to wipe out the gang almost single-handedly is because he gained Superpowers, a nod to the original character who was fueled by steroids.
The result is a seemingly endless series of violent encounters in which the unflattering Renfield manages to dismember his opponents at will, dismembering their various body parts, Organs and limbs explode in gory CGI. Director Chris McKay ( War Tomorrow , LEGO Batman Movie) goes into the gore with unabashed glee, but it quickly becomes a situation of diminishing returns; So ridiculously overkill it’s mind-numbing.
Whenever Dracula shows up, the movie vibrates dramatically. Cage delivers a masterful turn, embellishing every facial expression and line with an entertaining gothic style that’s as creepy as it is hilarious. Actor, Dracula fan (who made the awesome Shadow of the Vampire , about Max Schreck, star of Murnau 14 Classic Nosferatu), I have long expressed my desire to act in this character, and it’s put to good use here. He wears a top hat in one scene, which is a nod to Ronning’s role as Lon Chaney’s vampire in Lost 972061 Movies London After Midnight . (It seems no coincidence that the film is set in New Orleans, where Cage once lived in a haunted mansion and was destined to be buried in a custom-designed pyramid mausoleum.)
Holt is also great, and he continues to enjoy ignoring his ludicrous good looks — someone without cheekbones like these deserves to be funny — for offbeat comedic roles. Renfield is certainly offbeat, especially when he ditches his battered vintage suits for brightly colored sweaters and chinos to better blend in with the masses. You can bet Dracula has something to say about that.
But the best efforts of the cast are thwarted by a tired plot mechanic that minimizes the funniest element, the hilariously dysfunctional Dracula/Renfield ties, but to emphasize that the kind of gangster movie plot is old in 1922 Warner Bros movies . Not to mention that Renfield is constantly devouring insects for super strength like some crazy Marvel character. Forget the action/horror/comedy stuff. You just want to see Dracula and Renfield sitting in a room talking.
Full credits 1234976637
Production company: Skybound/Giant Wildcat Distributor: Universal Pictures Cast: Nicolas Hoult, Nicolas Cage, Awkwafina, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Ben Schwartz, Adrian Martinez, Brandon Scott Jones
)Director: Chris McKay
Screenwriter: Ryan Ridley Producers: Chris McKay, Samantha Nissenboim, Brian Furst, Sean First, Robert Kirkman, David Alpert
Executive Producer: Todd Lewis
Director of Photography: Mitchell Amundsen
Production Designer: Julie Berghoff, Alec Hammond Editors: Ryan Folsey, Giancarlo Ganziano, Mako Kamitsuna
Composer: Marco Beltrami Costume Designer: Lisa Lovaas
Casting : Rich Delia Rated R, 1 hour 14 minute
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