“A hard-working, blue-collar dad just wants to provide a good life for his quick-witted 10-year-old daughter. His mundane San Fernando Valley pool cleaning job is a front for his real source of income: hunting and killing vampires.”

Director: J.J. Perry
Writers: Tyler Tice, Shay Hatten
Staring: Jamie Foxx, Dave Franco, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Meagon Good, Snoop Dog
Rating: R
Release Date: August 12, 2022

If you read the tagline for Day Shift (2022), then you get the sense of the movie and what it is setting out to do.

“Some Jobs Really Go for the Throat”

Wonderfully cheesy…

Day Shift is an action comedy that does not strive to be too serious in its depiction of zany vampiric violence. Instead of sinking the movie into sullenness like many other blood-sucking adventures, director J.J. Perry, and writers Tyler Tice and Shay Hatten bring the over-the-top gun-fu action into the Los Angeles daylight with plenty of flourish and zaniness. It helps that you have the charismatic Jamie Foxx embracing the more sunny side of vampire hunting.

Foxx plays Bud Jablonski, a hard-working family man trying to make ends meet in the the complicated work environment of vampire hunting. Making his way around town in the San Fernando Valley, Bud deals with petty vampire hunting union guidelines and a buttoned-up union supervisor by the name of Seth (Dave Franco), who is ordered to try and get him in trouble any way he can. However, Bud does not need any help finding trouble. It tends to find him.

During one of Bud’s hunting raids, he killed an elderly looking vampire who ended up being the daughter of a power hungry vampire by the name of Audrey San Fernando (Karla Souza). The upper tier vampire, who is posing as a real estate agent in a nice bit of on the nose California commentary, makes it his mission to find the killer of her daughter and punish them without mercy.

That is bad news for Bud.

It should also be mentioned that Audrey San Fernando is looking to expand vampirism in California, so she gets even more upset with Bud, Seth and a few other heavily armored personal guillotines who start chopping down her army of vampires. San Fernando takes it upon herself to make it personal with Bud. He is ruining her family and her plan for societal domination. What a dick.

Bud (Jamie Foxx) and Seth (Dave Franco)

Day Shift shifts in and out of entertaining and drawling, and almost ever bit of its volatility stems from whether or not Bud is wielding a shotgun or not. Day Shift has some surprisingly fantastic action sequences. The best of which comes midway through the movie when Bud and Seth tag team with the Nazarian brothers (Steve Howey & Scott Adkins) to take down a hive of vampires in a recently built housing development.

This sequence really comes from out of nowhere.

Day Shift director J.J. Perry has 149 credits under the “Stunts” category, and only one under “Director.” Day Shift is his first attempt at directing, and for a debut, it is not too shabby. He is following in the footsteps of Chad Stahelski and David Leitch who blended superb stunt-work with a simple but fun story in John Wick (2014). Bud is not nearly as quiet and cool as Wick, but he still kicks ass and seems to be bullet proof. Credit to Perry for not falling on his face in his directorial debut. He used his experience well and made the action sequences very fun, and the rest of the time he let Jamie Foxx cook.

The one-time Oscar winner has a way of making himself the biggest and most charismatic character in any movie he is in. Think back on Foxx’s filmography. What movie do you remember him for most? For me, it is him as the crazy Bats in Baby Driver (2017), the hilarious Dean “MF” Jones of Horrible Bosses (2011) and the ultimate revenge badass Django in Django Unchained (2012).

In Day Shift, Foxx is not taking things serious at all, and that is with a purpose. He looks like he is having a blast in this movie. Hard not to be having fun when your job entails beheading vampires and delivering fun lines.

While watching Day Shift is a fun movie….it is not necessarily a good movie. There more than a few nitpicks I have, but most people here don’t want to read about how Dave Franco’s character Seth is really annoying, piss jokes don’t sell well, the funneling in and out of characters is dizzying, the return of Snoop Dogg at the end was deflating, the relationship with his child’s mother is lacking any sparks, and the ending as a whole is unfulfilling.

You are not going to be bored watching Day Shift, but you won’t remember any special part of it after the fact. This is a backend of a double feature where you attention is waning but there is enough to keep you awake. You know what, watch From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) ad then watch Day Shift. The first is a bad movie that is so bad it is good. The second is a bad movie that is okay.

The one thing that is undeniable is that the action of Day Shift is good, and Foxx is still charismatic as hell. That is plenty to tune in and turn your brain off for a while.

STANKO RATING: D+ (2.0/5 Stars)


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