Stunt coordinator and martial artist JJ Perry’s directorial debut, day shift, premiered on Netflix on August 12, 2022. Known for his stunt work on blockbusters such as John Wick and F9: The Fate of the FuriousPerry’s vampire action comedy does stand out in the genre, but it doesn’t deliver the thrilling stunts you’d expect from his film.
Jamie Foxx, who leads the cast as protagonist and vampire hunter Bud Jablonski, takes the lead in balancing the act between different genres of action, comedy, satire, horror and drama. You really can’t imagine anyone other than Foxx putting in a feat like this.
But to give credit where it belongs, Dave Franco’s character, Seth, did a good job of adding some refreshing slapstick humor to the film, fitting in well with Foxx’s character. In addition, Snoop Dogg and Karla Souza also starred in their short appearances, and overall the cast played the tone of the film.
However, the same appreciation cannot be given to the plot, which for the most part remained chaotic and underdeveloped. For a mindless Friday night movie night, Day Shift does well to entertain viewers, but don’t go looking for something out of the ordinary.
Read on for the full movie review and recap.
The plot of day shift is absurd and incoherent
Bud Jablonski was a laborer who cleaned the pools of wealthy people in the San Fernando Valley until his employer left. He then switched to his real job, which included hunting vampires and removing their canines. On a good day, these canines would bring him the big bucks, allowing him to live a sustainable life.
He led a chaotic life with his secret job and a family life with an endearing and smart daughter Paige (Zion Broadnax) and ex-wife Jocelyn (Meagan Good) until he needed $10,000 to prevent his family from moving to Florida.
His only solution was to rejoin the “association” of vampire hunters who had kicked him out for breaking several of his codes on a daily basis. However, his maverick friend and ally Big John (Snoop Dogg) had enough influence to get him the job again.
The only condition was that a very uptight accountant Seth (Dave Franco) would oversee his field missions and report to the union leader Ralph Seeger (Eric Lange).
There were discussions of five types of vampires, categorized by age, black-market sunscreen that allowed them to be in the sun, methods of killing vampires, vampire hives, a supreme vampire named El Jefe, and various gibberish-sounding vampire hunting codes in day shift. However, none of them amounted to anything significant in the film.
Not only did Bud and Seth find loopholes in the codes of the vampire hunting association, the film’s plot also contained many loopholes. Sometimes the vampires took too long to kill and no amount of wooden bullets would take them out, other times they would be blown to smithereens with just machine gun fire. But didn’t it take a steel blade to kill them?
Karla Souza’s tough vampire queen made for a tough villain, who was pretty easy to beat. Her daughter, the old female vampire in the first scene, put up a better fight, making the ending seem rushed and incoherent. Snoop Doggs Big John seemed to blow himself up as a sacrifice to kill an army of vampires, but where were his fangs when he was regenerated?
Overall, day shift was an entertaining watch if you left analysis outside the door. It seemed like the creators started with an ambitious idea in mind that slowly faded and ended in a substandard way. Nevertheless, the mind-numbing action and garden variety in the film would make for a good enough movie night.
JJ Perry’s John Wick-level action stayed in day shift
day shift opens with an action sequence featuring Foxx’s action moves as he took down an old female vampire who, with her relentless bloodlust, became a worthy opponent. The action scene, with just enough gore and special effects, made for a great way to draw viewers in right away.
However, things got tedious and tedious with the same moves being done over and over as more uninteresting vampires came to Jablonski. In one of the scenes where Bud, Seth and the Nazarian brothers (professional vampire hunters) fight off a hive of vampires, it seemed like they were seeing the same stunts repeated.
Gunshots, vampires tossed around like bullet-ridden zombies, purring absurdity and powdered faces dripping with black blood, and repeat. Whatever happened to the amazing action choreography illustrated by Keanu Reeves in the John Wick movies?
Tune day shift on Netflix for a uniquely comedic vampire romp with a video game aesthetic and Jamie Foxx’s well-rounded performance in an otherwise uninspiring film.