• 29 Apr - 05 May, 2023
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

Welcome to the horrific realm of Count Dracula (Nicolas Cage), where a stream of blood gushes out of a human body, arms are ripped off and used as weapons, bad guys are pummelling with bone-crushing severity, and a bloodthirsty monster is always ready to sink his teeth into human flesh. He personifies evil and possesses the ability to influence and destroy people, both physically and emotionally. Renfield (Nicholas Hoult) is one of his victims, who has been blindly giving blood to his employer as he temporarily morphs into a murdering machine. But he wants out after meeting an honest cop, Rebecca Quincy (Awkwafina), who is nursing ancient wounds. They're in for a lot of turmoil and violence if they get together.

The stunning action scenes, which are bold and original, are the film's strongest point. Consider a blood fountain gushing out of a person or a single blow breaking all the bones in the body. It has 'John Wick'-style action choreography interwoven with clever and creative use of special effects. It appears to be extremely authentic and deserves to be seen on the big screen.

The writing (by Ryan Ridley) is inconsistent, with tonal switches between darker and humorous aspects feeling jarring at times. This is primarily due to the comedy's lack of levity. The short running length of the film is a bonus since it keeps the tempo tight and prevents the tale from becoming drawn out. Chris McKay, the director, ensures that the action is served at regular intervals, with just enough room for character development in between.

Cage's performance is the standout, as he appears to have a lot of fun playing his threatening role. His makeup could have been less gaudy, as it detracts from his character's intended menace. Hoult does a good job as a very young-looking old man with a youthful charm. In her de-glam incarnation of a cop on duty with just a service handgun in the face of mass carnage, Awkwafina appears out of place.

However, we would expect such a committed police officer to first lose some weight before taking on all of the powerful bad guys. The writing and climax are both expected but rewarding. But, in the end, its unique and frenetic take to the traditional vampire story portrayed with stylised and brutal action that is not for the faint of heart will stick with you.