REVIEW: Jamie Foxx is out for (vampire) blood in Day Shift


A world where vampires run rampant among the living and their teeth are sold on the black market as currency? That’s where director JJ Perry takes us in Netflix’s latest original film Day Shift, and it’s a pretty rad time.

As if life as a working dad isn’t tough enough, Bud Jablonski (Jamie Foxx) has an added layer of stress: he’s leading a double life. He poses as a Los Angeles-area pool cleaner, but his actual job is much more high stakes; he hunts and kills vampires to trade in their gnarly teeth for cold hard cash.

Smartly, Day Shift skips a mistake made by too many action flicks these days – passing on a long, drawn-out opener and jumping into a killer action sequence within the film’s first few minutes. It sets the tone for a movie that may not be totally original or groundbreaking plot-wise but is charming and fun enough to settle into for its 114 minutes run time.

The conflict kicks off when Bud learns he needs to make ten grand fast, lest he risks losing his estranged wife Jocelyn (Meagan Good) and 8-year-old daughter Paige (Zion Broadnax) to a long-distance relocation. The trouble is, Bud has been unceremoniously kicked out of the Vampire Hunting union, and he gets swindled by a shady underground buyer in a brief but memorable exchange while trying to trade in his stash for cash. An unsuccessful attempt to get back into the union’s good graces leads Bud to team up with Seth (Dave Franco); a shy, meek union worker with an ulterior motive. The duo makes for a charming pair that oozes chemistry on-screen, and Franco shines in his role, with his physical comedy providing some of the film’s biggest laughs. He even manages to make a “so-scared-he-peed-his-pants” joke into a passable bit – twice.

The film’s action scenes are what make it worth watching, and one in particular in which Bud and Seth team up with another vampire-hunting duo – a pair of brawny brothers played superbly by Steve Howie and Scott Adkins – is possibly one of the best fight sequences Netflix has brought us in 2022. On a related note: If you’ve ever been curious about what a contortionist vampire might look like, then this movie is for you.

A long list of supporting actors rounds out the cast: Snoop Dog plays Big John Elliot; a fellow vampire hunter who helps Bud get back into the union, and in turn, make more cash. Other standouts include characters such as Audrey (chillingly portrayed by How To Get Away With Murder’s Karla Souza), an evil vampire out for revenge, and Heather (Natasha Liu Bordizzo, known for Netflix’s The Society), Bud’s friendly new neighbor who harbors a big secret.

There have been a lot of additions to the “undead cinematic universe” as of late – and while it may not change your life, Day Shift certainly holds its own against the pack. Check it out if you’re looking for a fun popcorn flick on a Friday night.

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