Mar 20, 2011

Daybreakers Review

image from Amazon


Premise:
Vampire takeover of the world? That is so ten years ago. Now, there aren't enough humans left in existence to regularly feed the vampire community (who are surprisingly very much like our community - vampire doctors, vampire coffee baristas, vampire soldiers, vampire newscasters, etc.) So the community is down to two choices - capture and methodically harvest the blood of any humans they find, or create the seemingly holy grail, an genetically engineered alternative to human blood.


Standouts:
The special effects in this movie were really stunning. I don't know how much was CGI, and how much was just great sets and costumes, but I was thoroughly impressed. I also enjoyed the acting of Ethan Hawk and Willem Dafoe, though I thought Dafoe was phoning it in a little at times. In an odd note that stood out to me, I couldn't stand Dafoe's character's appearance. I didn't know what look they were trying to give him, but it didn't sit right with me.


My Highlights:
The first big "HOLY CRAP THERE'S A VAMPIRE!" moment. No, I'm not talking about the first 60 seconds of the film where you see the vampire community. You'll know when you see it. Also, the tied to a chair in the elevator scene.


Overall Rating:
The premise for this movie, and the visuals of this movie, were stunning. There was a great message about finding alternative resources, conserving and protecting the ones you have, animal cruelty, all juxtaposed the message of "look how cool I look when chain smoking". Where the film suffered was in it's action beats. That's a phrase I learned from watching Kevin Smith's brilliant storytelling about his shot at writing a Superman script for Warner Brothers. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, every "ten pages" which equates to about ten minutes, there should be a big action scene. This felt more like a lot of "our science is very important! Hey everyone! Look how important our science is!" kind of film. Which would be great if the science was sensible, or at least mysterious like in Will Smith's I Am Legend. Instead the science use is just an attempt to justify cool looking action scenes. So while this film suffers in areas, and I can understand it's critics, I was a fan and award it 3 1/2 *'s out f 5, or 7 *'s out of 10!


When You Should See It:
If you're looking for a brainless popcorn action flick, look elsewhere. If you're looking for a high brow film about vampires, first watch Interview With A Vampire. But if you can lower your expectations a little, give this film a watch afterwards.

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