Website review

Jamie Foxx’s Vampire Killer Pool Cleaner Is A Cry For Help

It’s easy to imagine first director JJ Perry and screenwriters Tyler Tice and Shay Hatten at the pitch meeting for Day shiftselling it as lethal weapon riff with hungry vampires and John Wick ultra violence. All that to say there’s absolutely nothing new about this Netflix B-movie (August 12), whose lack of originality is eclipsed only by its inability to inject even a fleeting dose of humor into its comedic budding horror carnage.

Headlining Jamie Foxx, here stuck in badass one-note mode, Day shift is set in a Los Angeles populated by both the living and the undead, although the former – although it does know about vampires, as evidenced by references to the Dusk franchise – completely unaware that the latter are among them. Regardless of this ignorance, the bloodsuckers lurk practically everywhere, nesting in bowling alleys and abandoned malls and even roaming around during the day thanks to Audrey (Karla Souza). The San Fernando Valley’s star real estate agent and former “uber vamp”, Audrey buys properties in the area to populate them with her minions, whom she also empowers with a tough lotion that allows them to survive in the blazing sun. Alas, what happens in this protective balm is a mystery never revealed by the film, regardless of the fact that its entire narrative ostensibly relies on its application.

Such a script sketch is an integral part of this joyless affair, the main focus of which is Bud Jablonski (Foxx), an LA local introduced cleaning a dirty backyard swimming pool. With his job done, Bud exposes his true identity as a secret vampire slayer in search of fresh prey. He discovers that in an elderly monster living in a nondescript house, resulting in the first of many prolonged fights involving Bud’s trusty shotgun and handgun, numerous highly choreographed hand-to-hand combats and a multitude of limbs that break their backs. maneuvers on the part of Bud’s supernatural adversary. Director Perry stages this chaos with lucidity and musculature so minimal verve; the whole thing comes across as a third-generation photocopy of several things Keanu Reeves and Wesley Snipes have done before, all mixed together in a vain attempt to mask the derivative character of the show.

Bud makes a living selling the fangs of his nightly targets, which fetch a good price on the black market – personified by the pawnbroker Troy (Peter Stormare) – and a lot more money through the Union, an organization official that regulates the killing of vampires. The problem is that Bud was kicked out of the organization for relentless violation of the code. He is, unequivocally, the type of defiant crimefighter who refuses to play by the rules. Would you believe he was finally allowed back into the Union with the help of his friend Big John (Snoop Dogg), where he is yelled at for his usual insubordination by a chef (Eric Lange) sitting behind a large desk ? And that he’s paired with a wimpy bureaucrat, Seth (Dave Franco), who’s ordered to keep an eye on him (as a way to kick him out of the Union for good) but ends up turning from narc to reluctant partner to BFF?

Arrest me if you’ve seen this a thousand times in slightly different outfits. Day shift gleefully merges Big John’s cowboy gear (including an Eastwood cigar) with the soundtrack’s mix of hip-hop and country. There’s really no rhyme or reason to this mix and match; Perry simply throws whatever looks cool on the screen, hoping to create an entertaining spark. He rarely does. Day shift takes place at random, characterized by the film having the criminally underutilized Stormare – a human cartoon if there ever was one – coveting Bud’s gun as if it were a legendary weapon, only to then forget to explain what makes it so special and drop the issue altogether. Audrey’s slim scheme inspires the same puzzle, as it’s never seen why she needs to buy suburban homes for a vampire takeover when the undead can simply slaughter their inhabitants and destroy them. enter at will.

Day shift cares more about stirring up thrills than dotting every “I” and crossing every “T,” but his Swiss cheese plot doesn’t do him any favors. His characterizations aren’t much better. Bud’s main dilemma is that his ex-wife Jocelyn (Meagan Good) will be moving to Florida in a week with his beloved daughter Paige (Zion Broadnax) if he can’t come up with $10,000 in childcare costs. , thus giving him urgent motivation to execute as many vampires as possible while simultaneously dealing with the saddle pigeon Seth. Sadly, this situation on the ropes doesn’t match Bud’s status as an unrivaled and prolific killing machine, or his untouchable arrogance, which Foxx broadcasts via big stares, bigger smiles, and plenty of slow-motion parrying. He’s the alpha of all alphas, and therefore as monotonous a presence as his polar opposite Seth, a whiny nerd who shows up to stalk creatures in a bland suit and, at every sign of danger, pees his pants. – a running gag that is emblematic of the spirit of the proceedings.

“He’s the alpha of all alphas, and therefore as monotonous a presence as his polar opposite Seth, a whiny nerd who shows up to stalk creatures in a bland suit and, at every sign of danger, pees his pants. – a running gag that is emblematic of the spirit of the proceedings.”

A rehearsal of gun-fu that’s also a black-and-white buddy comedy sprinkled with a dash of Blade, Day shift operates in an area of ​​comics where nothing matters much, let alone deserves attention. The balance between brutality and joking is constantly off; the film wants to wow its audience with inventive confrontations while softening the impact of its bloody violence with cartoon cornball, as in a scene that pairs Bud and Seth with two brothers (Steve Howey and Scott Adkins) who, in addition to be adept in their Van Helsing-inspired profession, like to share each other’s gum. I don’t know why this is supposed to be funny. I do know, however, that it’s depressing to see talented actors like this – including Adkins, one of the under-recognized talents in the action genre – wasted on material that doesn’t know which way it wants to go. anytime and hits every cliche bump in the road en route to a predictably deflating finale.

Whether at dark midnight or bright noon, Day shift yearns for vicious irreverence and only achieves mediocre familiarity. It’s exhausting in a way that the filmmakers surely didn’t intend to make its villains proud.


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