On face value, Day Shift should be one of those movies that could hook you in with its premise that is essentially a spin on the buddy cop movie, but with vampire hunters instead of cops. It also boasts an intriguing cast with Jamie Foxx and Dave Franco as its leads and with a notable supporting role from Snoop Dogg. The style would try to tap in worthy horror comedies from the 80s but the result is a strange mix of genres that never quite mesh together and seem right,
Down-on-his-luck Bud Jablonski (Foxx), has been serving as a vampire hunter for the last few years in San Fernando Valley. All this time his wife and 10 year old daughter have been led to believe that he is a pool cleaner, and that his odd behaviour has started to take its toll on their relationship. Having already been thrown out of the Guild of vampire hunters because of his unorthodox approach, Bud is forced to go back with his tail between his legs and beg for another chance. Thankfully he is aided by his friend and renowned hunter, Big John Elliot (Dogg) who holds some sway with the company, but there’s a catch. Jablonski must team up with wet-behind-the ears Seth (Franco), a desk clerk who plays everything by the book and is employed to catch Jablonski breaking the rules, so that he can get kicked out of the Guild for good.
The extra barrier and darker threat to Jablonski finding his feet is that he has upset one of the head vampires of the valley, Audrey, now intent on bringing him down and ruining him.
The action sequences throughout the movie are nicely played, so hats off to director J.J. Perry who has crafted his work as a stunt coordinator for a number of high profile flicks including John Wick 2. His knowledge in perfecting stunts on screen really paid off with his delivery for his debut feature in the directors chair.
The issues arise in the lack of chemistry trying to be perfected by Foxx and Franco, but in their defence, the dialogue and screenplay lets them down a little and often misses the mark in the final product. Often it feels like it is all too content in resting on the sizzle of other movies, that it neglects to have a personality of its own.
This is a middle of the road action comedy horror, that offers plenty of bang, but not enough substance to really have any lasting impact on its audience.
- Saul Muerte
Day Shift is currently streaming on Netflix