In 1995 Jamie Foxx won an Oscar for his performance as the legendary Ray Charles in the 1994 biopic Ray. It’s a fair bet that the Academy won’t come calling again for his role in “Netflix Original Movie” Day Shift, J.J. Perry’s directorial debut. It’s quite likely, however, that home audiences will have a lot of fun with this light-hearted, action-packed horror comedy that offers a few new spins on traditional vampire lore even if tends to come across as a slightly lighter, blunter Blade.
Foxx, clad in a succession of increasingly-lurid Hawaiian shirts, plays Bud Jablonski, a pool cleaner in sunny Los Angeles who works undercover as a vampire slayer, hunting and killing the undead during the day and selling the much sought-after fangs of older vampires – Elders – to raise cash. When he discovers that his ex-wife Jocelyn (Megan Good) is planning to move to Florida with his daughter Paige (Zion Broadnax) Bud is forced to turn to his ex-employers at the Vampire Hunting Union for help as he needs to raise some quick extra cash to help pay for his daughter’s school fees. But Bud has fallen foul of the Union in the past and they team him up with timid desk jockey Seth (Dave Franco) in an effort to curb his code-violating tendencies, unaware that Bud and his family are being targeted by malevolent vampire Audrey (Karla Souza) and her undead hordes.
Packed with energetic and bloody action sequences – vampires are routinely sliced, diced and decapitated – Day Shift is far more fun than it ought to be. Foxx’s Bud is a fearless vampire killer, Dave Franco delivers the comic goods as the hapless and terrified Seth (with his unfortunate habit of losing control of his bladder in times of peril) and Snoop Dogg oozes cool as the charismatic, unflappable respected vampire hunter Big John Elliott. It’s not particularly big or clever, but then it doesn’t really need to be; it’s a brash, bright, breezy burst of action and comedy. It’s bloody good fun.
Day Shift is streaming now on Netflix