DAY SHIFT (2022) (NETFLIX)
SYNOPSIS: Jamie Foxx stars as a hard working blue collar dad who just wants to provide a good life for his quick-witted daughter, but his mundane San Fernando Valley pool cleaning job is a front for his real source of income, hunting and killing vampires as part of an international Union of vampire hunters.
Everything else pales in comparison to the excellent stuntwork in Day Shift, the vampire hunting flick starring Jamie Foxx. Not a surprise considering that it is directed by veteran stunt coordinator and stuntman J.J. Perry.
In the grand tradition of Fright Night and Evil Dead, Day Shift mixes elements of horror, action and comedy into this enjoyable yet forgettable romp. Foxx plays a pool cleaner, Bud Jablonski, but in actual fact, he is a vampire hunter in contemporary California. Driving a beat up Chevrolet, he goes around the neighbourhood looking for vampires to hunt and selling their fangs on the black market for some quick cash.
When Bud’s ex-wife decides to relocate to Florida with their young daughter due to some financial problems, Bud figures out the only way is to join back the vampire hunting union to pay the bills. Granted a second chance, Bud has to work only the day shift and also has to bring along an union rep, Seth (Dave Franco) along to keep him in check, not realising a powerful female vampire Audrey (Karla Souza) is out to get him.
Instead of a plain horror remake, Day Shift goes for broke by hiring a well-known face, throws him in an original but disposable familiar story, and surrounds him with breakneck action set pieces. The script by Tyler Tice and Shay Hatten is unimaginative, though it has a lot of potential if developed into a long-running series. There’s mention of intriguing vampire species and clans, something Seth keeps mouthing but audiences rarely see. Even Audrey is an interesting villain who has hatched a clever plan of buying up LA properties for her vampires to populate.
Rather than concentrating on the clever bits, Perry and his team unspool a series of non-stop inventive action sequences which feature countless contortion vampires meeting their gory deaths and a prolonged car chase which will make Michael Bay proud. And there is a tongue-in-cheek sequence which has action star Scott Adkins making a cameo as one half of the vampire killing Nazarian brothers, Diran.
If you love bloody, gory action, then there is a lot to relish here; though as a word of caution, there’s nothing horror or anything remotely scary. Though it’s a role that doesn’t require an ounce of his acting talent, Foxx as always is charismatic while Dave Franco mainly acts as the movie’s comic relief. Rapper Snoop Dogg appears as Big John, a cowboy style vampire hunter that adds some amusement to the whole affair.
While arguably unnecessary, Day Shift is nonetheless silly and entertaining.
Review by Linus Tee