"Renfield" is funnier than it should be and funnier than expected.
It's also a raunchy movie starring Nicolas Cage in one of his most bizarre acting moments; the kind found in early career endeavors that remain to be remembered.
The Oscar winner ("Leaving Las Vegas") rose to prominence with the role, creating such memorable characters as O.I. McDonagh in the underrated Coen brothers classic "Raising Arizona" and Ronnie Camerer's love interest in "Moonlight". ".
According to the latest, he also allegedly ate cockroaches in Kiss of the Vampire, about a man who thinks he's been bitten by a bloodthirsty one in the night.
Despite the fact that this film is 35 years old, Cage seems to have come full circle in portraying the messy Dracula, and he does so with irrepressible glee. As the title suggests, he is not the focus of the film as his like-minded partner Renfield (Nicholas Hoult) takes center stage.
Now in New Orleans they are on a refurb and things are not going well as Renfield has to feed his boss more kills to heal. This brings him into the life of Rebecca (Awkwafin), a police officer and drug dealer who is responsible for his father's death.
Meanwhile, Renfield faces his own problems, especially Dracula and his selfish nature. Of course, immortality is a very good thing since she agrees to serve as a human servant for the evil vampire. But in modern times? He saw Dracula as a narcissistic monster and wanted to get out of his master's clutches. And where better to find courage than in a self-help group?
Wanting to let go causes a lot of collateral damage, misunderstandings and, yes, laughter.
Don't make a mistake. Renfield is far from perfect, but director Chris McKay took a few cues from Ryan Ridley (Rick and Morty) and Robert Kirkman's (The Walking Dead) script, including some inspired uses. The meat of past Dark Knight movies.
McKay (The Lego Batman Movie) brings his own sense of subversive humor to the film, including over-the-top naturalistic violence that serves more for laughs than scares.
Cage is perfect in both tonal and comedic roles, and Holt, as a nearly centenarian who is in touch with her emotions, is perfect. Add Aquafina's wild attitude to the mix and appreciate her for who she is.
It's a mixed experience, but 'Renfield has a lot to take in and enjoy.
George M. Thomas covers film and television for The Beacon Journal.
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Nicolas Hoult, Aukwafina, Ben Schwartz
Directed by Chris McKay
Duration: 1 hour 32 minutes
Rated R for blood violence, some laughter, swearing, and drug use
This article originally appeared in the Akron Beacon Journal. Nicolas Cage and Nicholas Hoult tell vampire stories in Renfield