September 27, 2022

The Pitch: Bud Jablonski (Jamie Foxx) is a San Fernando Valley pool cleaner, however his mundane job is a canopy for different, extra thrilling work. Casing the home subsequent door whereas skimming a pool, he places on a ski masks, masses up on weapons, and storms inside. The resident, a frightened previous lady, asks “Who’re you? What are you doing in my room?” With out answering, Bud blasts away at her with a shotgun. The lady, revealing herself as a vampire and baring her fangs, stands up with a gaping gap in her torso, and begins preventing again.

Day Shift is the directorial debut of J.J. Perry, a veteran stuntman who performed Scorpion and different masked fighters in 1997’s Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, and choreographed the extreme battle scenes in Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire. And the scene that opens the vampire hunter film Day Shift lives as much as Perry’s pedigree with kinetic motion and cartoonish gore that, at moments, resembles Sam Raimi’s Evil Lifeless movies greater than a up to date shoot-‘em-up flick. The vampires in Day Shift even contort their limbs in unnatural positions that recall The Exorcist, lending some creepy novelty to in any other case pretty pedestrian creature function visuals.

Excessive Stakes: Netflix has centered quite a lot of its power in recent times on making splashy motion motion pictures with nine-figure budgets in the hunt for one thing that appears like an old school summer time blockbuster, minus a large theatrical launch: Brilliant, Extraction, The Grey Man, the record goes on and on. Netflix trumpets large viewership numbers for these motion pictures, however they by no means appear to go away the type of Independence Day-level cultural footprint they’re aiming for. Someway, these popcorn motion pictures hardly ever hit the identical with no close by foyer the place you should buy an precise bucket of popcorn.

As some extent in its favor, Day Shift’s screenplay was co-written by Shay Hatten, who additionally co-wrote Zack Snyder’s zombie heist film Military of the Lifeless, one among Netflix’s few genuinely entertaining motion blowouts. And Jamie Foxx is one among Hollywood’s most versatile skills: an Oscar-winning actor, a hilarious standup comedian, and a chart-topping singer. However even Foxx can’t singlehandedly save a weak film, and he got here up empty earlier than with a Netflix motion film, 2020’s so-so sci-fi saga Challenge Energy.

Thankfully, Jamie Foxx doesn’t have to hold Day Shift all by himself. Karla Souza is a memorable villain as Audrey, a profitable L.A. realtor whose penchant for brightly coloured pantsuits masks her secret identification as a strong aged vampire. Bud has an enthralling meet cute along with his nurse neighbor Heather (Natasha Liu Bordizzo), who finally will get to kick some ass within the climactic motion. And veteran scene stealer Peter Stormare makes some transient, humorous appearances as Troy, a sleazer pawn store clerk in a tracksuit who compensates Bud for his kills.

Chew Marks: The vampire style, or for that matter the vampire hunter subgenre, is such a crowded area that it’s onerous for Day Shift to do something that hasn’t been carried out earlier than. Bud isn’t as iconically badass as Blade, the Black vampire hunter from Marvel Comics that was portrayed by Wesley Snipes within the hit movie trilogy, and shall be performed by Mahershala Ali in an upcoming reboot.

However Foxx’s character additionally isn’t as humorous as Jefferson Twilight, the Blade parody “Blacula hunter” within the Grownup Swim collection The Enterprise Bros. He’s principally a stoic everyman, working onerous to offer for his younger daughter Paige (Zion Broadnax), which feels just a little like a waste of Foxx’s outsized expertise and charisma.

Day Shift (Netflix)

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