For ome reason, vampire flicks are all the fucking rage these days… which would be a good thing under normal circumstances. But when the preferred version of the monster is a self loathing depressed emo vampire that does not want to drink human blood , the movies get bad real fast. So when the previews for Daybreakers started showing up, it caught the eye the second you saw it was a vampire film not set in high school.
The premise behind Daybreakers is actually quite innovative. For some unexplained reason, the vampire virus spread global at a break neck pace and now vampires were the dominant species. The remaining humans were essentially cattle; Pieces of meat famed or their blood. It is in this world where Ethan Hawke stars as Edward Dalton, a vampire hematologist working on creating a form of synthetic blood. See, in the short time that the vampires have been running things, the kind of ate almost all of the remaining human population. But after a fateful meeting with a rare feral human, Edward has his eyes open to the real solution.
So is this movie going to bring back the dignity of the vampire in film? Or will it be just another flick that made the characters vampires just to sell a few tickets….
- Sam Neill is rather good as the evil vampire corporate bastard Charles Bromley.
- The created vampire world (where windows are al covered and cars are driven with cameras and screens) is set perfectly, as people who can’t die live their day to day lives. The detail provided to the world of the vampires goes a long way to help you buy in to Ethan Hawke’s character, as well as the other characters in the world.
- Special effects and action sequences are pretty cool. So are the monsters (starved vampires roaming the streets looking for anything to eat). The vampire gore is also very well done.
The Not So Good…
- The premise of the movie is actually a very innovative and original one: a world were vampires are the dominant species and the humans are, well, dinner. But sadly, it is in trying to create this amazing world where the script starts to fall apart. The story gets muddled a whole bunch in the middle (which we will get to in just a minute) and loses traction. By the time things get sorted out in the end, you are left really not giving a shit.
- There is about a 25-35 minute stretch in the middle of the movie (marked by the first appearance of Willam Dafoe) where the action and cool vampire world make way for soft dramatic piano music and whispered expressions of feelings takes place. May as well have been your mother rocking you to sleep (or your girlfriend telling you about her day).
- Willam Dafoe. His character is disjointed. Acting as both the philosophic base for the film as well as the comic relief, Defoe’s character never gets a chance to fully develop, as his character- Lionel “Elvis” Cormac- leaving you angry and confused by it. Dafoe himself is not particularly bad… he is a great actor… but in this movie, he is a great actor in a shitty role. Honorable mention goes to Ethan Hawke for once again working as hard as he can to ruin a movie (how this fucking guy gets work is beyond me).
Somehow this movie manages to keep one interested and we have no idea why. Sure, the concept is kind of interesting but somewhere along the way it goes from being a cool action movie about vampires running the world to a slow and clunky metaphor for the pharmaceutical industry. It has its moments… a few decent actions scenes and a couple of nice vampire attacks… but for the most part, the movie is slow and kind of disjointed.
Overall, this movie is a generous 2.5 flushes. It’s watchable. If you have already seen Sherlock Holmes and Avatar and have your heart really set on seeing a movie, the go ahead (but make sure you go to a matinee). if you have not seen those other two movies, then go see them and catch this steaming pile on cable later on this year… you’re really not missing much.