Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Day Shift (2022)

Streaming Service: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: Day Shift (2022)
Genre: Action, Comedy, Fantasy
Length: 1h 53min
Rating: R
Production/Distribution: Impossible Dream Entertainment, 87Eleven Entertainment, Netflix
Director: J.J. Perry
Writer:  Tyler Tice, Shay Hatten
Actors: Jamie Foxx, Dave Franco, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Meagan Good, Karla Souza, Steve Howey, Scott Adkins, Oliver Masucci, Snoop Dogg, Peter Stormare, Eric Lange, Zion Broadnax
Blurb from IMDb: A hard-working, blue-collar dad who 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.

Selina’s Point of View:
Cheesy, gory, fun-loving horror-creature flicks speak to me. There is a special place in my heart for them. The moment I saw the trailer for Day Shift, I knew it was going to be right up my alley.
What is there not to like about Day Shift? It doesn’t try to take itself too seriously. The fight choreography is absolutely glorious. The people involved could elevate anything, and I cannot say enough about the soundtrack.
Let’s walk it back a minute and talk about the people.
In my Top 20 Movies to Look Out for in August I went on a whole rant about why you should expect good things from stunt people making their directorial debuts. I knew that whatever J.J. Perry (Beast Mode, Shadow and Bone, F9: The Fast Saga) gave us was going to have amazing action. He didn’t disappoint.
The years of his experience showed in every scene. The fight choreography and stunts included moves that no other director would likely ask for. I imagine they wouldn’t realize the majority of it was possible without CGI, but his use of contortionists was inspired. From a purely action perspective – Day Shift was miles above any other vampire, and most action, flicks. Only a person well educated in the stunt side of Hollywood could have given us this kind of thing.
The story itself was a little tropey and basic. It reminded me of an upgraded Blade (1998). That’s where the actors come in.

Jamie Foxx (Baby Driver, Just Mercy, Project Power) is about as flawless as an actor can get. He can do absolutely anything, and I’m reminded of that whenever I see him on screen. He’s been type cast a bit lately, as a sarcastic action type, but he works so well in that role that I find it hard to argue. His comedic timing worked really well with Dave Franco’s (Nerve, The Little Hours, If Beale Street Could Talk) style of na├»ve humor.
For a buddy cop comedy without the cops, the pairing worked phenomenally.
And then there’s Snoop Dogg (Blood Pageant, The Addams Family 2, Good Mourning). Everything’s a little better with Snoop Dogg, and with his involvement the soundtrack was a given. He’s just got an epic on-screen personality.
Snoop has finished the game, and he’s just completing all the side quests at this point. I support that.
Don’t be fooled by the reviews.
Day Shift has a middle-of-the-road score because people can’t agree on the benefits of cheesy horrors… not because it’s bad. High-art critics are likely to hate it, while those of us just here for the movies are going to enjoy it.
If you’re into cheesy action/horror-comedies, you cannot go wrong with Day Shift.

Cat’s Point of View:
When you mention Jamie Foxx, you start getting my attention. He’s a phenomenal actor with so many facets. He can sing, dance, he’s personable, charismatic… I could go on, but I think I’d be preaching to the choir.
At the time we watched the trailer for Day Shift and I saw that not only would Foxx be in this film, but also Snoop Dogg and Dave Franco – fighting vampires, no less – it became a “shut up and take my money” situation.
If I could have watched Day Shift the moment our trailer-viewing stream had ended, I would have.
There were so many good things about Day Shift, I almost wouldn’t know where to start – but since I’ve already touched on the cast, I’ll run with that. There wasn’t a single performance I could find fault with. I bought everyone’s characters and the comedy was on point. The more serious moments hit right, also. Some of the scenes were a little over-the-top but this was a movie about vampire hunters – it fit and felt right.
This was quality escapism, I tell you.
Foxx and Franco really delivered the buddy-cop-like dynamic, and I loved it. Pairing a strait-laced guy with a maverick in action movies is generally a recipe that works. I had a gleeful giggle when Snoop was on screen, also. I might have cheered a bit when his character brings out Big Bertha. I’m leaving out the context there – you really need to see the movie to get the effect of that scene- it was epic and glorious.
Don’t get me wrong, though, the ladies in the cast did a great job, too. I loved that the primary antagonist and vampire ringleader was Karla Souza (The Sleepover, Home Economics, There Are No Saints). She really delivered on the essence of classy with a hint of ‘rip-your-face-off.’ I believe this was the first larger role for Zion Broadnax (Holly Day, Station 19, Abbott Elementary), and she killed it as Foxx’s on-screen daughter. Their chemistry was great, and she embodied her precocious character well. I see bright things ahead for her.

Let’s talk about director J.J. Perry. Day Shift was his directorial debut, and he has an extensive history as a stunt coordinator. I applaud him for this amazing conglomeration of stunts and storytelling. I hope he can bring us more like this in the future. (I wouldn’t mind a sequel.)
Perry has gone on record about his use of practical effects in Day Shift. If it couldn’t be done for real, he didn’t really want to do it. It’s clear that there were only minimal touches done with computers in post, and Day Shift got a lot of bang for their bucks that way.
He was also working with the same stunt team that trained and coordinated for John Wick (2014).
The actors were comfortable doing most of their own stunts, too – save for the exceptionally dangerous shots. I was hard pressed to tell between what was really Foxx (or Franco) and what was done by the doubles.
It also helped to have 5th-degree black belt and martial arts superstar Scott Adkins (Accident Man, Dead Reckoning, Castle Falls) – certainly no stranger to stunt work - among the vampire hunter cast.
These were vampires like we’d never seen before. I loved the fresh take with the contortionist moves. Perry also brought a new element in by experimenting with filming some sequences in reverse for better effect.
I could probably ramble for ages about all the great things about Day Shift. I’ll reign myself in and encourage you to look it up on Netflix, however. I would recommend this one in a heartbeat and I’ll likely be watching it again soon because it was just that much fun.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 59%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 63%
Metascore – 51%
Metacritic User Score – 5.0
IMDB Score –6.1/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 4.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating 5/5
Movie Trailer:

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