Director: J. J. Perry
Writer: Tyler Tice and Shay Hatten
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Dave Franco, Snoop Dogg, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Meagan Good, Karla Souza, Steve Howey, and Scott Adkins
Netflix’s Day Shift is the directorial debut of J. J. Perry, who had previously worked as a stunt coordinator on films like John Wick: Chapter 2 and the Fast and Furious series. Day Shift is an all-out action comedy starring Jamie Foxx as Bud, a vampire hunter masquerading as a pool cleaner in the San Fernando Valley. Out on one of his jobs, Bud kills what he thinks is just a normal vampire, but it puts him in the crosshairs of a much more powerful vampire. At the same time Bud is at risk of losing his family if he can’t find enough money to pay for his daughter’s tuition.
Essentially, it’s a buddy cop movie. Bud is a renegade who doesn’t play by the union’s rules, but he needs to be part of the Vampire Hunter Union to get enough money by doing what’s he’s good at, killing vampires. His old friend, Big John (Snoop Dogg), vouches for Bud, getting him one last chance before he’s canned for good. Bud is partnered with newbie Seth (Dave Franco) who is really just there to keep a record of his screw ups so the union can get rid of Bud once and for all. It’s the typical set up, except this time around their hunting vampires, not solving crimes.
The first scene is great, setting the tone for the rest of the film. It doesn’t play all of its cards straight away, instead letting you believe that Bud is a pool cleaner, who then breaks into a house. You don’t know what’s going on, whether he’s a thief or a hitman. Even when he shoots an elderly woman with a shotgun, and she flies across the room, the pieces are only just starting to fall together. It’s a great chaotic action scene as the woman gets back up and we get to see Bud doing his job. The choreography is absolutely fantastic, and it’s one hell of a thrilling scene blending action and comedy together perfectly, as the vampire contorts around her surroundings to fight. From that point onwards it just gets more and more ramped up, with video-game violence, stupid jokes (that work about half the time) and insane action that move around like a dance sequence in a musical. Every fight sequence is more over-the-top than the one previous one in the best way possible.
Everyone in the cast is fantastic. Jamie Foxx is great as the action hero, and you’re instantly on his side. Dave Franco is excellent as the nerdy desk worker who is out in the field for the first time, working perfectly with Foxx, with some of the funniest pieces of the film. Snoop Dogg plays a smaller but equally as memorable role as the cowboy in the union, who everyone loves. The cast are great and really make the film feel like a lot of fun.
For the most part this is a fairly predictable film, you know certain things will happen, but it’s still great while it’s on. It may not be completely original, but it takes the tropes and makes them feel fresh. Overall, Day Shift works really well. The action is awesome, there’s some great jokes, and the cast is pretty fantastic. The plot beats may be familiar, but it all comes together and Day Shift is a simply really good time.
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