Jamie Foxx is at the top of the streaming charts once again with his new vampire movie hitting the top spot on Netflix
When you combine Jamie Foxx with vampires it’s almost a certainty the movie is going to do well. If putting actors and themes into an algorithm to see what would pop off with audiences, those two things appear to be something of a winning combination. It looks like the folks at Netflix pretty much knew this as well, putting together the two for their most recent big release on the streaming platform. And it’s going to pay off. Day Shift premiered on Friday of last week and in no time at all has moved up the Netflix charts and taken the top spot. It’s currently sitting at number one worldwide for new movies on Netflix and could hold the spot for a bit with a strong performance out of the gate. It’s a good sign for the streamer in terms of its original content.
Day Shift isn’t breaking a ton of new ground with its story but the movie is entertaining nonetheless. It stars Jamie Foxx as Bud Jablonski who opens things up looking every bit your standard, San Fernando Valley pool cleaner driving a beat-up pickup truck and getting through the hot days. But it’s all just a front for his real job, something much more dangerous and considerably more lucrative. Bud is a vampire hunter and these blood suckers are very much alive in the greater Los Angeles area. Jamie Foxx’s character is part of an underground group of hunters who ply their trade taking out vampires who secretly live in and around town.
Jamie Foxx is very good at what he does but very bad at following the rules, which is important in this world, seeing as how vampire hunting, even for a secret venture, still has a working labor union. It’s with this group that Foxx is almost as much at odds as with the undead themselves. In Day Shift, Foxx is battling conflicts on a number of different fronts. He’s hunting vampires, arguing with union officials, protecting his family, and coming at odds with one of the most powerful vampires around. It’s not going well for the guy at all.
Day Shift is a stylized flick, heavy on the action sequences though doesn’t tread any particularly new ground. There are some new rules around the vampires, and they’ve worked to establish much more of an organized system about this new world and what we know about the bloodsuckers. They’ve added bureaucracy to the mix in a way we haven’t seen before. And when Jamie Foxx engages with these folks, there’s clearly a new way for vampires to move, fight, and act that gives a slightly different look to the genre. The movie definitely has its moments with one-liners and a slickness that’s very Jamie Foxx-esque. From a leading man standpoint, he was a solid choice, carrying more than a few scenes in a way others actors might not have been able to do.
In addition to Jamie Foxx, Day Shift includes a number of other notables who do make the movie pop a bit more even if the story (and even some of the effects) don’t get all the way there. We’ve got Dave Franco as Seth, a wimpy union rep who has to accompany Foxx’s Bud on dangerous missions without any clear skills to be able to hunt down the vamps. There’s also Snoop Dogg, Peter Stormare, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Karla Souza, and Meagan Good among others. Day Shift is the directing debut for JJ Perry who’s spent years in the business as a stunt coordinator.
Jamie Foxx and Day Shift scored fine, though not amazing, with critics, sitting at 58% on Rotten Tomatoes through 76 reviews. Many agreed that Jamie Foxx was easily up to the task for the film and that the action scenes were pretty spot on. Again, there are a bunch of cool combat sequences in closed quarters that do pay off. But the central complaint was the lack of chemistry and an overall story for the film. That’s fine, this movie pretty much knows it’s lane and sticks to it. But it’s not going to be winning awards anytime soon.
In all, it’s easy to see why Jamie Foxx and Day Shift are sitting atop the Netflix ranks right now even if critics didn’t love the movie. It’s just the kind of guilty pleasure watch that’s easy to get in and get out of for an evening.