A decade after starring in the hit “Django Unchained” (“Django Unchained”), Jamie Foxx has a starring role again in a film where weapons and, of course, blood, are the main course. Although on this occasion, the peculiarities around this new production are diametrically different. And your end result too.
And it is that “Day Shift”, the new film of the outstanding 54-year-old African-American actor, in the first place, has not been released in cinema, but on Netflix. On the other hand, here the director is not an experienced and virtuous filmmaker like Quentin Tarantino, but rather a newcomer: JJ Perry, who, beyond his extensive experience as head of ‘stunts’, does not seem to be set if We are talking about direction. But we will explain that later.
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“Django Unchained”, finally, was a western notoriously touched by realism. Quite the opposite occurs with “Day Shift”, an audiovisual proposal that, although it has a plot line linked to the human/family, is fundamentally a vampire film that, on more than one occasion, thoroughly demands the aspects linked to the so longed for verisimilitude.
This new Netflix movie tells the story of Bud Jablonski (Jamie Foxx), a man who works as a pool cleaner in Los Angeles, but who actually works as a vampire hunter in a city that at times seems besieged by vampires. The protagonist of the film is the father of a girl (Page / Zion Broadnax), the result of his already ended relationship with Jocelyn (Meagan Good).
Precisely here comes the plot pillar of the JJ Perry film. Jocelyn seeks to sell her house to move to Florida with her daughter, leaving Bud alone in LA. When he asks her to reconsider his decision, she reminds him of his child support violations. Then a proposal arises: “10 thousand dollars until next Monday”. If our fake pool cleaner manages to raise that money, the girl stays close to him.
As we said above, “Day Shift” is – from its first minutes – a vampire movie. Perry is in charge of quickly showing us what we will have for almost 120 minutes: a brave Bud who, thanks to his enviable arsenal of weapons, is capable of ‘killing’ whoever gets in front of him. He does the same with a seemingly innocent granny who, after receiving a first shotgun blast, becomes a powerful martial arts fighter.
In the way in which the director shows us the endless fights of humans against vampires, we find perhaps the greatest weakness of “Day Shift”. A granny pirouetting and dealing terrible blows to Bud can be surprising at first, but if this goes on for several minutes she loses strength. The same with the following fights. We clarify: in terms of maneuvers, everything looks correct (Perry’s experience as stuntman is not in vain), but at one point we felt that the film is nothing more than that. It is as if we were watching a video game where vampires are automatically eliminated. Bullets here, punches there, stab wounds to the chest and liters of blood.
That vampire granny that Bud eliminated after an endless confrontation turned out to be the daughter of Audrey San Fernando (Karla Souza), an eccentric villain who works as a real estate agent. She is taking advantage of this work that she will seek to fill every corner of Los Angeles with vampires. Of course, everything seems to be going well for him until Bud’s action changes everything and his plans change: revenge must be taken by killing the fake pool cleaner’s wife or daughter.
Although the film began alone, our protagonist soon finds the circle that once sheltered him. Desperate for the money to ensure he has his daughter Paige close by, Bud seeks forgiveness from the Los Angeles Vampire Hunting Syndicate for the reasons they expelled him long ago (rule violations, among other problems) and reinstates him. enroll. This is when a series of colorful characters make their appearance. From rapper Snoop Dogg, who puts his personal stamp on playing Big John Elliott, a respected vampire hunter who manages to broker Bud’s return to the union, to Dave Franco (Seth), tasked with bringing to life a union representative who must ‘monitor’ and report if Bud violates the regulations again.
Although the interpretation of Jamie Foxx is solvent, we are not exaggerating if we mention Franco as perhaps the best thing about this film. His role is to play a humble office worker who, although he has all the theories about vampires in his head, has never ‘stepped on the street’, so after mixing with the ‘creolezo’ Bud, he will become a brave character . Thus, in the alterations suffered by Seth throughout the film we have perhaps the great strength of “Day Shift”. Seeing him first piss himself in fear at the beginning of operations, and then face vampires bare-knuckle is clearly convincing.
Perhaps it is somewhat demanding to compare “Django Unchained” with “Day Shift”, but if we see it from a more utilitarian side, making this comparison could very well help us understand how the film industry has changed in the last decade. From big studios that bet and believed in a brilliant filmmaker like Tarantino (now close to retirement) for a bloody film, but with an undeniably good plot (a story of love and revenge with fine historical touches), to streaming networks that, in the search to ensure their millions of subscribers, they stumble giving the opportunity to debuting directors, capable of producing a two-hour ‘package’ full of bullets and blood, in which there is certainly everything but depth.
DAY SHIFT/ NETFLIX
Address: JJ Perry
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Dave Franco, Natasha Liu Bordizzo.
Duration: 113 minutes:
Synopsis: A Los Angeles vampire hunter has one week to get his daughter’s school money and dental treatment. Making a living these days could kill you.