Jamie Foxx and Dave Franco's Day Shift on Netflix, reviewed

·3 min read
Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

Day Shift's premise may not feel particularly original but it is certainly entertaining. Cowboy vampire hunter Bud (Jamie Foxx) needs to play by the union rules in order to make enough money to stop his wife from moving away with his daughter.

In order to make sure he doesn't violate union rules, the boss sends desk-jockey union rep Seth (Dave Franco) to partner with him in the field. Only vampires have changed, and together Seth and Bud must stop this new species, led by Audrey (Karla Souza) from taking over the world — or at least the Valley.

The horror-comedy certainly leans more into the latter half of its genre, with buddy cop and slapstick humour that manages to get away with not being too grating. A big part of the success of the film's humour is down to Foxx's commitment and awareness of the kind of film he's in.

Photo credit: Parrish Lewis - Netflix
Photo credit: Parrish Lewis - Netflix

He carries most of the film's meat on his shoulders - the emotional beats as well as the humour and action. Watching it, it is hard to imagine another actor balancing each of those things without one of them feeling lacking, but Foxx manages it with an ease that speaks to his acting ability: chiefly, he never breaks the tonal boundaries of the film.

A good example of a failure in something like this is Oscar Isaac's turn as Moon Knight. Isaac, a hugely talented actor, always feels like he's stretching muscles the show can't support. Foxx doesn't make this blunder, which allows the whole thing to feel more seamless in its goofiness.

Sure, Day Shift doesn't have the most delicate balance – the humour is the humour and the heart is the heart, and rarely do the twain meet. However, there's enough action and candour to balance out the jokes referencing buttholes.

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

De Souza does an entertaining, if one-note, turn as a vampire queen with the surprise addition of Dark's Oliver Masucci as her henchman. While the first two thirds move apace, the final third comes to a grinding halt as exposition sucks the air out of the film.

Luckily it doesn't take long to get back on track with a hectic but well-choreographed, if too gun-reliant action scene. Though, as ever, we always would rather watch interesting combat than boring sprays of bullets.

However, this is where we get another glimpse of the ever brilliant Snoop Dogg in full-on 'black cowboy vampire hunter' mode and his deadpan stoner vibes are always a welcome treat. It's a chaotic cast to be sure, but somehow they all gel — including Eric Lange as the mullet-wearing union boss with a grudge, Steve Howey as a 'Eurotrash' vampire hunter, and Peter Stormare as a sleazy vampire-fang pawn dealer.

Photo credit: Parrish Lewis - Netflix
Photo credit: Parrish Lewis - Netflix

Some of the gore is cheesy, but it works in that classic B-horror kind of way. Most of the beats are predictable, as are some of the revealsgvv , but it's just enjoyable enough that you don't really mind the ease of not being on the edge of your seat.

Day Shift isn't the best vampire horror comedy you'll find (What We Do In the Shadows takes the bloody biscuit there), but it's perfectly watchable, a serviceable, inoffensive vampire romp that you probably won't regret turning on.

Day Shift is now available to watch on Netflix

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