Jamie Foxx’s Netflix vampire comedy is a cool late summer diversion – The Hollywood Reporter

A man arrives at a quiet house in the San Fernando Valley and walks towards a garbage-filled pool. He started cleaning up, using the net to retrieve empty beer bottles and a drowned marsupial. Then, without prompting, he entered the seemingly empty house. He surveyed the area, and in the thin air, an old woman appeared. The man shot her in the heart, starting a fiery battle. She is a vampire. He is a hunter.

Day shift, the buzzy debut of director JJ Perry, opens with this twisting, action scene. The man, Bud Jablonski (Jamie Foxx), and the vampire go head-to-head in a complicated, minute-long fight. They jump from room to room, expand walls, deform their bodies like pretzels, fire guns and, in the case of vampires, try to take a bite or two.

Day shift

Key point

Playable popcorn entertainment.

Release date: Friday, August 12 (Netflix)
Cast: Jamie Foxx, Snoop Dogg, Dave Franco, Karla Souza, Meagan Good, Natasha Liu Bordizzo
Manager: JJ Perry
Writer: Tyler Tice, Shay Hatten

R-rated, 1 hour 53 minutes

Introduce expectation level savings to this cool popcorn entertainment. Day shift is an action-comedy-horror-action good, weird, and sometimes funny, chronicling Bud’s efforts to raise $10,000 in seven days. The neat script and energetic cast – Foxx, Snoop Dogg and Dave Franco all liven up the workday rhythms of the story and add distinctive touches of humor – meaning audiences can look forward to a good time even if they don’t remember much after the reels.

After slaying vampires (there are two) in a secluded house in the Valley, Bud pulls out their fangs with pliers. This is a version of reality in which vampires not only exist, but their teeth are also highly sought after. The movie doesn’t go into the whys or mechanics of this dental market, but we do know that Bud lives a double life. With his ex-wife Jocelyn (Meagan Goode) and young daughter Paige (Zion Broadnax), he cleans swimming pools for a living. Secrets and lies cost Bud a marriage, and he struggles to maintain a connection with his daughter. Foxx works through the tonal inconsistencies caused by Bud and ‘s dramatic plot Day shifttends to enjoy high jokes by lengthening his jokes and relying on sarcasm. This brings out the best in humor and the audience can see Bud’s emotional tension.

It was necessary because Bud was under legal duress. Years ago, he was kicked out of the vampire hunting association for breaking countless codes. His transgressions leave him working alone and selling his fangs to black market buyers like Troy (Peter Stormare), known for their horrendous prices. The news of Jocelyn’s plan to sell her home and move to Florida with Paige further deepens Bud’s desperation. He begged his ex-wife to give him until Monday (seven days from the start of the movie) to pay for Paige’s tuition ($5,000) and braces ($4,800). Shares of Day shift very awkward, starting with random time constraints and arbitrary bills for which Bud is now responsible.

The movie is much more interesting if – as with most Netflix projects – you don’t read too much into the “why” and just focus on the “how”. Bud enlists his old friend Big John (an underutilized Snoop Dogg) to help him get back into the alliance. However, the new boss, Seeger (Eric Lange), cultivates an unhealthy disdain for hunters like Bud, whom he feels has no respect for rules or authority. In return, Bud must agree to be surveyed by a new partner, Seth (Dave Franco), a neurotic union member with no field training.

Bud and Seth’s partnership followed a predictable pattern: Bud was a veteran hunter, alert with keen senses, and Seth was a book smart (he remembered it). trade union code) but is a responsible person in this area. As the movie progresses, Bud and Seth move into the center as the other characters enter the background. Their friendship contains elements of seduction, but mostly smoldering. Another tension emerges: It turns out that Bud’s vampire hunt at the beginning of the film has angered Audrey (Karla Souza), one of the most powerful vampires in the region. Seeking revenge, she pursues Bud and Seth as they both attempt to kill enough undead to raise funds.

Day shift action-packed, with elaborate fight scenes taking up most of the film’s length. Perry spent 30 years as a stuntman and helped set up memorable scenes in Fast and furious and John Wick series. In his own film, he calls for a similar amount of imagination and excitement, coordinating scenes that are sure to please some audiences.

But that enhanced vision does not apply to construction Day shiftThe world of, feels like a combination of familiar games. Vampires are not developed enough both aesthetically and narcissistically. (Most of them are the same Game of Thrones‘white walkers – the wrinkled, hollow-eyed creatures that haunt the series). It’s hard to follow the politics of their world: Who is considered a good vampire? Who is the bad guy? Why Start a Hunting Business? And then there’s Audrey, the evil vampire plotting for world domination, whose story feels too flat to advance the film’s sequel.

Fortunately, those flaws don’t sink the film. Relationships for Drift day some weight and momentum. Foxx and Franco are a surprisingly good match given their strong bond. Their jokes and gentle sayings build on the characters’ growing affection for each other. Bud has as much to learn from Seth as the young hunter does from the veterans. Add a soft Snoop Dogg to the mix and you’ll end up with an unexpected, gangly trio that you won’t mind rooting – even if a sequel isn’t necessary because it’s inevitable. .

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