Get ready for a wild ride with Jamie Foxx as he goes both serious and funny as a vampire hunter in J.J. Perry’s directorial debut.
Bud Jablonski may look like your average pool cleaner. However, there is something under the surface. He is actually a vampire hunter but is no longer in league with the union because he was known for his reckless behavior. When he takes a job taking out an elderly vampire and another, he makes his money by selling the vampire teeth he gets from his jobs. When he learns that his estranged wife is planning to move both she and their daughter to Florida, Bud asks to give him a week to make things right.
Thanks to support from his old friend Big John, Bud is reluctantly welcomed back to the union, but the man in charge, Ralph Seeger, knows Bud will get himself in hot water again. Using newbie Seth to watch Bud, Seeger plans to make sure Bud messes up. However, Bud’s going to find himself in serious hot water, but not so much by Seeger, but from Audrey. A realtor who is actually a vampire herself, Audrey may have found a way for the vampires to walk in daylight and Bud’s last job is connected to her and she is thirsting for revenge.
From the team behind John Wick comes this Netflix original horror-comedy that has quite a protagonist who while teaching his new sidekick the rules of hunting finds himself under constant pressure not to mess up. The film is a nice meshing of horror, comedy, and exhilarating action that all comes together well.
Jamie Foxx could have been quite a contender for the role of Blade (which will now be played by Mahershala Ali in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) if judged by his performance in this film. Foxx makes an impact as soon as the movie starts. Using a combination of firepower and a bit of close quarters combat, Foxx can handle himself well as Bud Jablonski. We get to see a sensitive side of him when it comes to his daughter, played by newcomer Zion Broadnax. So, he does have a good-natured side, but he needs a major payday in order for his family to stay in Los Angeles.
Dave Franco is the perfect foil as Seth, Bud’s new partner and by-the-book union representative who has never experienced any hunting before. When he finally gets to his first hunt, well, things get a little disastrous and “wet” for Seth and we’re not taking blood. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny’s Natasha Liu Bordizzo starts off with a thud before kicking it into high gear as Bud’s new neighbor Heather, who has a few tricks up her sleeve that’s unexpected.
Karla Souza makes an excellent femme fatale in Audrey, a vampiric realtor who is living in the modern world and is stick of traditions among the monsters. She has also created a new form of sunscreen that will allow vampires to temporary come out in the daylight. A major highlight of the film is while Audrey is more of a mastermind, there are plenty of stunt performers doing the action as Audrey’s legion of minions. Part of this leads to an alliance between Bud and Seth with two elite hunters, the Nazarian Brothers, played by Steve Howey and Scott Adkins. This action scene is one of the highlights of the film, especially when we see that the brothers don’t compete but relish in their collaboration. As a matter of fact, get the Nazarian Brothers a spin-off film because they deserve one.
The final action set piece is amazing to watch because we soon get to see Snoop Dogg come in and join in on the fun as Big John, Bud’s buddy and the reason why Bud gets one last chance as a union member. The events that lead up to this action piece are both a combination of seriousness and some hilarious comic relief on Franco’s part. There are some nice twists and gets a bit predictable, but still fun nonetheless.
Day Shift is a wild and fun ride in the world of vampire hunting. Jamie Foxx and Dave Franco have such great buddy comedy chemistry and get the Nazarian Brothers their spinoff movie. Fun all around!
WFG RATING: B+
Netflix presents an 87Eleven North production. Director: J.J. Perry. Producers: Chad Stahelski, Jason Spitz, Shaun Redick, and Yvette Yates Redick. Writers: Tyler Tice and Shay Hatten. Cinematography: Toby Oliver. Editing: Paul Harb.
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Dave Franco, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Karla Souza, Snoop Dogg, Steve Howey, Scott Adkins, Oliver Mascucci, Meagan Good, Zion Broadnax, Eric Lange, Peter Stormare.