Whenever you assume “vampire-hunter”, what’s the very first thing that involves thoughts? Relying in your classic, it is perhaps Van Helsing, Blade, Buffy, or, erm, Abraham Lincoln. This newest Netflix entry hopes so as to add a Los Angeles pool-cleaner to that storied firm; whereas it’s unlikely so as to add greater than a footnote to the legacy of Bram Stoker, it’s a likeable sufficient addition to the garlic-and-wooden-stakes canon.
Because it seems, fairly than trying to ape blood-sucking staples, the elevator pitch for Day Shift appears to have been: “Males In Black, however with vampires.” That is an action-comedy very a lot within the mould of Barry Sonnenfeld’s seminal 1997 sci-fi: a secret bureaucratic society policing fantasy creatures; a wise-cracking tone with effects-heavy motion; and a rookie-versus-old-timer buddy dynamic.
Right here, Jamie Foxx is within the Tommy Lee Jones function, enjoying Bud, an skilled previous hat who doesn’t all the time play by the foundations. He’s basically a working stiff, given a deadline by his ex-wife: three days to earn ten grand for tuition and dental braces, or she and their daughter transfer to Florida. As vampire fangs are his principal supply of earnings, he’s pressured to go legit, teaming up with Dave Franco’s squeamishly uptight, pescatarian desk-jockey Seth. It’s hardly a dynamic we’ve by no means seen earlier than — one thing even the filmmakers realise, making a sly nod to Foxx’s earlier buddy-movie expertise in Miami Vice — however the two actors a minimum of share a straightforward chemistry. If few of the jokes land particularly laborious — this isn’t precisely a comedy to guffaw at — a minimum of the actors we’re watching are comfortably charismatic.
“filled with kinetic camerawork, acrobatic stunts and creative kills”
The place it excels, nonetheless, is the motion. That is the directorial debut of J. J. Perry, the most recent stuntman from the 87eleven steady to cross over into directing, and his expertise with wirework and sensible results pays dividends right here, the movie filled with kinetic camerawork, acrobatic stunts and creative kills. It opens with a physics-defying struggle with a candy previous woman who seems to be an vital demon, and retains the tempo up — one struggle achieves Arnold Schwarzenegger’s long-held dream for Commando of ripping a person’s arm off after which beating him to loss of life with it. One other sees a ludicrously elaborate gun-reload sequence, deftly executed by Sutton Coldfield’s most interesting, Scott Adkins. Additionally, Snoop Dogg reveals up at one level, dressed as a cowboy, firing a sequence gun named ‘Large Bertha’ — all whereas smoking an enormous doobie.
It’s a number of mildly-guilty-pleasure enjoyable. And even when the script can’t fairly compete with the motion on display screen, it a minimum of manages to pepper in some worldbuilding — there are apparently 5 species of vampires: Southern, Easter, Spider, Uber and Juvenile, all served by human Familiars. There are additionally some ingenious weaponry with which to struggle them (garlic grenades, anybody?). The filmmaking can generally really feel first-base (the opening sequence, introducing California’s San Fernando Valley, options palm bushes and oversaturated skies, set to 2Pac’s ‘California Love’ — as apparent as selections come). However when it pops, Day Shift has some sharp enamel on it.