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Jamie Foxx hunts vampires in an action-heavy, light-hearted comedy

Jamie Foxx has been a very busy man. Since signing a development deal with Sony Pictures, which now has a features licensing deal with Netflix, he’s worked on everything from a family comedy series to genre-bending action movies on the platform. streaming.

The partnership continues with “Day Shift,” a vampire-hunting action comedy set in Los Angeles, starring Dave Franco, Karla Souza and Megan Good, with special appearances from Peter Stormare and Snoop Dogg.

It’s also the directorial debut of stunt coordinator and second unit director JJ Perry, and afterwards, the action scenes here are truly impressive. And that’s fine, because you won’t be watching this movie for the script. “Day Shift” is what you get if you put “Supernatural” and “Training Day” in a juicer, squeeze out the storylines, and leave behind nothing but epic fight sequences and lots of teeth.

Foxx stars as Bud Jablonski, an unlucky divorced father who makes ends meet in the dark as a pool cleaner while hunting vampires on the side. In this universe, hunters make a legitimate living by joining a syndicate and following a strict set of rules regarding their catch. They make their money by trading vampire fangs for cash, but since Bud was kicked out of the syndicate, he’s been forced to sell his trophies on the black market.

Inside or out, the older the vampire, the higher the payout, and Bud seeks to kill an elder to earn some quick cash to pay for his daughter’s tuition and child support. before his ex-wife Jocelyn (Good) left town.

Calling a favor from his friend and legendary vampire hunter Big John Elliott (Snoop Dogg), Bud can only rejoin the syndicate if he brings guild representative Seth (Franco) with him to ensure he kills according to the rules. He’s quickly put on “day shift,” and since vampires aren’t fans of sunlight, that’s a tall order, both in terms of prey and payouts.

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Of course, Seth, who has never been in the field, continues to gum up jobs with bureaucracy, and when Bud kills a vampire linked to one of the most powerful elders in the area, that’s all. what Bud can do to keep his family. , Seth, and most of Compton are safe before everyone is killed or turned.

An action movie first and a vampire story second, “Day Shift” features very few scenes that aren’t designed around a fight, even when it’s not necessary – for example, when Bud does 10 rounds with a vampire inside during the day, instead of just opening the curtains and letting the sunlight do its damage. An excess of car chases, gun-kata, and close-quarters hand-to-hand combat scenes make half of the film feel more like a stunt demo than a vampire thriller, but Foxx and Franco deliver fun and humanity. to the movie. Their comedic buddy-cop chemistry plays out as mostly believable, even if it strays to the ridiculous at times. (Seth has fear-induced incontinence.)

Their banter, along with Seth’s encyclopedic knowledge of vampires, keeps the plot between incredibly intense fight scenes, one of which involves throwing a bullet from one gun into another. Perry, stunt coordinator Felix Betancourt, and cinematographer Toby Oliver (“Get Out”) do impressive and intricate work here, despite the deliberate choice to color the entire film like a 1990s McG music video.

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Although Netflix’s “Day Shift” promos make Snoop Dogg look like a co-star, he only appears in a handful of scenes, as does Stormare in his usual grumpy role as Troy, a black market loan shark for vampire paraphernalia. Away from her “How to Get Away With Murder” gig, Souza digs deeper into her telenovela repertoire, chewing up the scenery as vampire Elder Audrey San Fernando, a wealthy realtor gentrifying the Valley with the undead.

It’s the youngest member of the ensemble, Zion Broadnax (“Abbott Elementary”), who steals every scene she’s in as Bud’s daughter, Paige. From the sarcastic way she has her dad wrapped around her finger to her role as the kickass co-driver during a car chase, it’s a standout turn from a back-and-forth.

“Day Shift” doesn’t offer many surprises, but audiences with a taste for horror comedies that are heavy on action and light on plot may enjoy sinking into this one.

“Day Shift” premieres August 12 on Netflix.