‘Day Shift’ Evaluation: Jamie Foxx is the Vampire Hunter as Working Stiff

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Day Shift” is a vampire thriller full of lock-and-load ultraviolence, starring Jamie Foxx in imperious badass mode. At coronary heart, although, it’s a knowingly eccentric goof of a film, to the purpose that it’s arduous, for some time, to not discover it agreeable, whilst you register what a preposterous piece of fluff it’s. Sadly, it’s additionally an arduous piece of fluff. It’s stuffed with blow-you-away motion scenes, and it’s additionally stuffed with guidelines — a satirical vampire cosmology that’s enjoyable till it begins to be simply convoluted sufficient to present you a headache, particularly when the foundations are utilized as inconsistently as they’re right here. Directed and co-written by J.J. Perry, “Day Shift” needs to be a dessert drenched in blood. That provides it taste but additionally weighs it down.

Foxx performs Bud Jablonski, a Los Angeles vampire hunter whose day job is driving round in an historical pick-up truck to wash and repair swimming swimming pools within the San Fernando Valley. Bud’s one and solely purpose is to get his palms on $10,000, which he must pay for the braces and grade-school tuition of his 8-year-old daughter, Paige (Zion Broadnax). (If he doesn’t have the cash by Monday, his ex-wife, performed by Meagan Good, will transfer the child to Florida.) He plans to get the money by promoting vampire fangs, which, as soon as extracted, might be fairly useful, relying on which bloodsucker they arrive from.

Sounds easy, proper? However “Day Shift,” which is directly an undead motion film, a cheeky good cop/loopy cop buddy comedy, and the story of a troublesome however saintly divorced dad out to save lots of his household, is likely one of the extra perversely twisty vampire flicks in latest reminiscence. There are, on this film, 5 sorts of vampires, organized by age: Southern, Japanese, Spider, Uber, and Juvenile. Received it? Don’t fear in case you don’t, as a result of none of it involves a lot.

How do you kill the vamps? By blasting them by way of the center with particular African arduous wooden, then chopping their heads off with a silver blade. There’s a black-market sunblock that enables the vamps to be out within the SoCal daylight for possibly 20 minutes. (That doesn’t come to a lot both.) And as soon as they’re killed, they launch a particular fuel that you just’ve obtained to get off you. Foxx has a particular orange-yellow powder to make use of within the bathe for that. Essential rule: Don’t let the powder get in your butthole!

That the vampires are killed by decapitation is the closest the movie involves having an inviolable regulation (type of like “Kill the mind and also you kill the ghoul”). Till, that’s, a key vampire will get decapitated solely to put his head proper again on himself, like one thing out of “An American Werewolf in London.” There are additionally vamps who’re loyal to people relatively than different vampires. Why even ask why?

“Day Shift” is the type of film the place Bud enters a suburban home, and there are two youngsters enjoying video video games (they’re juvie vamps), and after they get blown away, Bud realizes that the home is a vampire hive, at which level one of many vampire-hunter brothers he has attached with declares, “Showtime, bro!” Cue the vampire extras in pale make-up and what appear to be costume-shop fangs bursting by way of doorways, dropping by way of ceilings, and clawing by way of partitions to develop into immediate ballistic fodder. The vampire fight scenes aren’t notably suspenseful, as a result of all of them come all the way down to the identical factor: The gun blasts ship the vamps hurtling backward, however they immediately restore and proceed to come back at you — spinning and doing spider-walks, attacking in a contorted frenzy. Till, that’s, you possibly can chop the top off, which this film does with an abandon that turns into numbing.

The chief baddie is a glamorous vampire real-estate agent, Audrey (Karla Souza), who’s out to colonize the Valley by organising the homes there as vampire hives. Sadly for her, Foxx’s Bud is a army veteran who’s completely mercenary about vampire killing, fiercely cut-and-dried in his motion mega-moves. His vampire-hunter-as-working-stiff vibe is tied to the movie’s flakiest and, in a means, most authentic factor. In L.A., it appears there’s a union of vampire hunters — actually a staff’ union, just like the Teamsters. Bud used to belong to it however was kicked out for violating so many rules. However his legendary mentor, Large John (Snoop Dogg), has the clout to get Bud reinstated.

When you’re within the union, you possibly can promote vampire fangs for far more cash. However to take action, Bud has to conform to go on the hunt with Seth (Dave Franco), a desk jockey who’s there to verify he doesn’t violate any union codes. He’s just like the rookie cop assigned to experience with the reckless veteran trasher of protocol, solely on this case the beginner is geek stuffed with terror who retains pissing his pants.

Jamie Foxx is such a great actor that he provides even a skewed product like this one the good thing about his quick-cut retorts and genre-hero mystique. However “Day Shift,” as an alternative of changing into extra invested in Bud’s scenario, begins to depart the human story behind. It turns right into a free-for-all across the time that Large John reveals up with a round machine gun, which fires rounds with such a punishing present of velocity and power that after he rips by way of a roomful of vampires, it takes a second for us to appreciate that they need to all nonetheless be alive since none of them is decapitated. By then it’s the film that has misplaced its head.

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