Day Shift landed on Netflix last week, an action comedy that has its own take on the vampire genre and starring Jamie Foxx as a pool-cleaning vampire hunter. But while it definitely has a truckload of action, it’s sadly lacking in any real comedy.
The film follows Bud Jablonksi (Jamie Foxx), a working dad using his day job cleaning pools in the San Fernando Valleys as a front for his real source of income; hunting and killing vampires. He attends a job one day and kills an elderly vampire, collecting her teeth for selling on, before heading home to pick up his daughter Paige and returning her home to his estranged wife Jocelyn (Meagan Good). Jocelyn reveals she’s thinking of selling their home and moving the family to Florida, as she can no longer afford Paige’s tuition fees and the braces she needs.
Desperate not to lose his family, Bud asks Jocelyn to give him the week to raise the funds she needs to stay in California. He tries to sell his teeth and weapons to pawn shop dealer Troy (Peter Stormare) but doesn’t get a fair price. Instead, he’s forced to go back to the Union to get fair pay to raise the funds, a union that he had previously been kicked out of for inappropriate behaviour. Using the good name and reputation of his friend Big John (Snoop Dogg), he’s allowed back in the union but only on the basis that union rep Seth (Dave Franco) accompanies him on all hunts.
Meanwhile, Bud’s murder of the elderly vampire attracts the attention of realtor and ruthless vampire Audrey (Karla Souza), who is trying to buy up property in the valleys in order to head up a vampire community. Soon Bud finds himself embroiled in a bigger battle with Audrey as he tries to raise the funds and save his family.
I had high hopes that Day Shift might be an unexpected comedic gem, but sadly it was a bit of a let-down. Jamie Foxx is as brilliant and charismatic as he has ever been and the chemistry he has with Dave Franco is very evident. That alongside some rather fast-paced, brutal and ridiculously fun action scenes are what makes this film watchable. It’s just a shame the rest of it can’t match up.
The script is pretty poor and a bit cringeworthy at times, and despite being billed as a comedy, I didn’t find this very funny at all. There are a couple of laughs thanks to the pairing of Foxx and Franco, but otherwise, for me, this just fell really flat. It isn’t helped by the design and styling of the vampires, as they look a bit over the top and ridiculous and I really didn’t like the acrobatic, contortionist style speed they have in the fights. The over-reliance on CGI too for the vampires in the fights became grating after a while.
Ultimately Day Shift as an action comedy only ticks one box out of two and is very lacking in any actually funny humour. It’s the kind of film that isn’t bad enough to stop watching thanks mostly to the efforts of Foxx and Franco but isn’t good enough to be memorable or warrant a rewatch.
A contract manager moonlighting as a rather discerning film and book critic, with an almost fangirl appreciation for anything made by Christopher Nolan. When I’m not catching up on my latest read or watch, you can usually find me trying out my amateur baking skills – Bake Off here I come!