‘Day Shift’ Review: Jamie Foxx Is Ready to Kill Some Vampires During the Day in This Action Comedy

Day Shift

87Eleven Entertainment have shown in a short amount of time that they can deliver when it comes to creating action films. The production company has made it its mission to take action cinema to a new age. An age where stunt crews can show their talents in front of the camera without having to hide behind weird editing that undercuts their efforts. The 87Eleven Entertainment want to show you that action can be seen clearly and doesn’t have to be messy.

The John Wick series has been the flagship of the production company thus far. The franchise has become quite famous, and the character of John Wick is already part of the pop culture vernacular. That is quite an achievement for a company that has had less than a decade in the industry. Lately, their projects have also diverged into more spectacular fare, like a Fast & Furious spin-off.

It seems like everything is going fine for 87Eleven Entertainment, whose latest production for Netflix is Day Shift, a film directed by J.J. Perry and starring Jamie Foxx, Dave Franco, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Meagan Good, and Snoop Dogg. The film tells us the story of Bud Jablonski, a struggling vampire hunter who works the day shift. When he tries to get into the Vampire Hunter Union, he is paired with a desk man called Seth, and together they discover an awful conspiracy that would destroy the city of Los Angeles.

Day Shift

The John Wick series has imposed such a high standard on the genre, that it seems that 87Eleven Entertainment itself is having a hard time reaching it. Films like Day Shift didn’t manage to capture the essence and practicality that make the Wick films so compelling to watch. Which is sad, because there are a lot of great ideas in here, but a weak script and subpar directing make a film that floats in the middle of watchable and a missed opportunity.

From all the 87Eleven Entertainment projects that haven’t been directed by Chad Stahelski or David Leitch, Nobody has been the most successful, from a box office perspective but also when it comes to the quality of the final product. The vision of the person behind the chai seems to be very important, and J.J. Perry doesn’t seem to be up for the part. It isn’t the case that he is just a bad director, but the fact that the movie never pushes to be more than what it is. Everything seems very standard when it comes to the framing of the shots and even the fight sequences.

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There is a lot of good stuff in here. Most of the action sequences are quite well staged, but the editing and the way they are shot don’t feel like they are achieving their entire potential. There are a lot of cuts, and boring shot choices inside these sequences, and these elements really hurt the final product. The look of the film also feels very much in line with everything that Netflix has been doing lately. The film doesn’t have a distinct personality. There is not much difference between this and Project Power, another Foxx fim for Netflix.

Day Shift

The script tries to mix action with comedy. The action part of the film is the most solid element of the film. The comedy side of things suffers a lot, because most of the jokes end up falling flat each time. They really needed an expert comedy writer to make a pass on the script. The jokes all come off as a bit cringy, or just plain unfunny. Thankfully, Dave Franco, who serves as the comic relief in the movie, brings a lot of his energy to the role of Seth, and he can overcome most of the bad jokes just with his charisma.

Foxx on the other hand, is on autopilot. His acting is solid as always, but there is nothing here that makes this a standout performance. Like we said before, his character in this movie could be compared with his character in Project Power, and they could be the same person. It is nice to have an Oscar winner as part of your cast, but Foxx has just become a one-man note lately, and not of the best kind. The rest of the cast does fine, and Snoop Dogg’s cameo is quite funny.

The film really tries to build the world of vampire hunters in the same way that the John Wick films did for the world of assassins. However, it feels like most of the details feel somewhat forced. There is a lot of information being thrown around, but very few examples. John Wick did much by just showing how things work, while Day Shift has to say a lot by just saying the difference makes for quite a divergent final result.

Day Shift is entertaining, but it is also quite unmemorable. If 87Eleven Entertainment is trying to build another franchise here, they might find themselves having a hard time doing it. Day Shift will not make for a watch that stays in people’s heads like John Wick did. The film really needed a better vision behind it, one that could seize the opportunity to tell such a weird story in a more polished and creative way.

SCORE: 6/10

  • Nelson loves all things related to storytelling. He has spent most of his life studying narrative, applied across all mediums; film, TV, books, and video games. Mulholland Drive is his favorite film.