The humor in Day Shift, a vampire action and comedy flick from Netflix, is innovative, especially in its use of the fine art of farce. The film is simply a blast.
The title of the film is a hint toward the setup—Day Shift is a film about a hunt for vampires during the day instead of at night. In the daytime, the vampires in Day Shift are just living a quiet, secret life of being vampires. Jamie Foxx plays Bud Jablonski, a father who tells everyone that he cleans swimming pools. But his real job is hunting and killing vampires around the San Fernando Valley. To support his daughter though, he must try to find bigger incomes in his shady job. In doing so he teams up with Seth, played by James Franco. Seth in turn teams up with Bud and they go on a vampire killing spree together. But the vampires are more evil and more terrifying than Bud and Seth expect.
Foxx’s role in the film is like his roles in Collateral (2004) and 30 days of Night (2007). In Collateral he played a taxi driver working a hit man who had to make tough decisions based on his hostage situation. In Day Shift he makes tough decisions based on his experience with killing vampires. Franco teaming up with Foxx makes for a very alluring duo. Their relationship is like Sherlock and Watson, but with vampires. Foxx would be Watson, because he has more common sense. Sherlock has always been known from the books and films to be absent-minded and witty, and Franco’s character is quirky and disorganized, so he would be Sherlock.
For director J.J. Perry, this is his first time directing a big feature, and he nails many hidden gems with this vampires film. Snoop Dogg is in the film for a few scenes, and although his role is minor, he keeps that sappy vibe going.
The days are bright, and the vampires await in this one-of-a-kind film from Netflix. Can Foxx’s character accomplish the impossible and pay off his debts for his daughter? Maybe, but this film is full of unexpected revelations. Day Shift is a vampire film that takes things in a different direction than we’re used to. Three stars for Day Shift.