GRAPHIC: Bud Jablonski (Jamie Foxx) poses as a pool cleaner but is actually a vampire hunter struggling to make ends meet in a competitive job market. Kicked out of the vampire slayer syndicate because of his attitude, he gets one last chance to rejoin them, but must impress a nerdy syndicate rep (Dave Franco) with no experience hunting vampires. Meanwhile, an elderly vampire (Karla Souza) plans to turn the San Fernando Valley into a mecca for the undead, but she harbors a deadly grudge against Jablonski and wants him and his family dead.
REVISION: Day shift it’s far less ambitious than some of Netflix’s other bigger-budget franchise hopefuls. Here’s the thing: If they’ve released something this year that legitimately feels like it has a chance to be a franchise, this is it. While it’s nothing you haven’t seen before, this is a modest-scale vampire-hunting action-comedy, a genre beloved by horror fans. I hope this builds views for Netflix, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Jamie Foxx’s Bud Jablonski becomes a character he can repeat every few years for the streamer.
Indeed, Day shift it’s fun, even if it feels less worthy of the big screen than some of Netflix’s other more expensive titles. Directed by JJ Perry, who has worked as a stunt coordinator for years, Day shift is produced by 87Eleven Entertainment, the action design company behind the john wick films. While Jamie Foxx is a familiar figure for the action genre, it’s great to see him transformed into a vampire hunter version of john wick, although one that is more blue collar. He is a hard worker trying to earn enough money to keep his ex (Meagan Good) from moving to Florida with her daughter. She’s convinced he’s a womanizer thanks to his late nights, but really, he’s just killing vampires and trying to keep up, and Foxx is cute as usual.
He’s ably supported by a gaming cast headed by Dave Franco as the nerdy union rep sent to monitor his murder of vampires. I liked that Franco, while uptight, is made to be likeable from the start, and a clever turn in the third act gives him a lot more physical action to do, along with Natasha Liu Bordizzo, who steals the scene as the mysterious newcomer to Foxx. Neighbour. 87Eleven Entertainment has a knack for producing unlikely action heroes, and they do so not only with Franco and Bordizzo, but also with perhaps the most unexpected action hero of all: Snoop Dogg.
In it, Snoop plays a legendary vampire hunter/urban cowboy named Big John, who shows up from time to time to save the day. It looks like the rapper is having the time of his life in an action role, and as Christopher Lloyd in No one, it seems that he is enjoying the opportunity to do something that no one expected of him. In the meantime. Perry brings in two ringers for a terrific action piece in the middle: a hulking Steve Howey (of Shameless) and the great Scott Adkins. The two play vampire hunting brothers who destroy a nest with Foxx, and this action set piece is insane. While Netflix is hell-bent on spinning off the gray man, perhaps it would be better to advise them to give these two a modest-scale action movie of their own. Adkins has been waiting for the day that Hollywood will allow him to show his mettle, and while he only gets one scene here, he’s clearly being directed by someone who knows what he’s capable of.
Yes Day shift something is missing, it is that the villain, Karla Souza’s Audrey San Fernando, does not give enough. Souza’s nice, low-key vibe sets her apart a bit, but we don’t delve into her mythology enough to make her a terrifying villain. You know she’s no match for Foxx and Franco from the start, a common problem with action movies like this one. Foxx needed a larger-than-life villain to take on, and Souza, good as she is, doesn’t have enough meat to sink the fangs out of her (pun intended).
While it’s not an amazing action movie by any means, Day shift It’s still a fun Netflix scheduler that will please action fans and get millions of hours of viewing. I think this could be the movie that becomes a franchise for them mainly because it’s not too big. It’s the perfect scale for a Netflix movie, and while it might not work if it were theatrical, on streaming this one fits the bill.
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