A movie like Day Shift isn’t wanting to win any awards nor bedazzle film students. There’s a time when movies are made just for mindless entertainment. They usually get two and a half stars on average from film critics who can’t fully recommend them, but can’t outright denounce them. Movies are about entertainment and there are so many levels and degree of entertainment, you’re not interested in art, you’re more interested in two hours of just escapism.
Day Shift is set in an alternate world where vampires of varying kinds are running rampant all over the world. And people who kill them have decided it’s best to unionize to make it easier. Well, as always, there’s someone who has been in trouble with the union. Bud Jablonski (Jamie Foxx) is a former union hunter who’s had to turn to scab work while he is working a front job as a pool cleaner. One day, he kills an older woman and younger man who are vampires at a house he’s working and takes their fangs to sell to his friend, Troy (Peter Stormare) in a pawn shop.
He needs money because he’s heard his ex-wife, Jocelyn (Meagan Good) and daughter, Paige (Zion Broadnax) are planning to move from southern California to Florida unless Bud can come up with some cash. So, he turns to his friend, “Big” John Elliott (Snoop Dogg) to help put him back in the good graces with the union. It’s revealed Bud broke too many rules and got booted, but he’s welcome back in on a probationary period to work with a supervisor, Seth (David Franco), who’s been working at a desk and never been on field work.
Unfortunately, the older woman he killed earlier is the daughter of Audrey San Fernando (Karla Souza), a powerful vampire posing as a real estate developer who’s trying to fill the Los Angeles area with as many vampires as possible. And she goes looking for the person who killed her daughter. You’ve seen this movie a thousand times before. There’s a lot of gunshots being fired, a lot of swords and knifes ripping through body parts and a lot of heads being lopped off as Bud with the timid Seth go vampire hunting along with “Big” John and Heather (Natasha Liu Bordizzo), an outcast vampire. Just like the Blade trinity movies and From Dusk Till Dawn, the movie mixes comedy and outrageous graphic violence. It works for what it’s worth.
The movie ends with a hint that there might be a sequel. Snoop has fun as the vampire hunter decked out as a cowboy. Franco plays the squirrely character of Seth to a T. And Foxx has done this role several times before with the blend of comedy and action. I wished we could have seen more of Souza but she used just enough. It’s the directorial debut of long-time stuntman/actor J.J. Perry and it’s a stunt-oriented movie. But if you’re looking for a lot of character development and a history of why the vampire hunters unionized and why some of the vampires can go out in daylight and why there are different types of vampires, to paraphrase a line from the MST3K theme, “Repeat to yourself, it’s just a movie. You should really just relax.”
What do you think? Please comment.