Daybreakers Review

OK, @reviewbrisbane gave me “free” tickets under the condition that I write a review on the movie I went to see. I could have just done the 140 character Twitter review but I thought to myself “Luke” (I think to myself in the 4th person. That´s just like the 3rd person but I always have an imaginary friend with me.) “Luke, why would you rob yourself of the chance to force your opinion down other people´s throat? It´s one of your favourite things to do and you do it so well.” After a brief deliberation I vigorously agreed with myself and decided to write a full review. I have never even attempted this before so lets see how I go.

Daybreakers: The Review

Executive Summary:
It was good.

This movie can probably be described as 28 Days Later meets Minority Report meets Count Chocula (or any other pointy toothed marketing tool you would care to think of. There is no prize for guessing who won the product placement deal in this film.) From the get go the creative team want you to know what kind of movie you are in store for. They waste no time with some (admittedly cheap) scare tactics. Much to my embarrassment I fell for them. There were at least 3 occasions in the first 5 minutes when the seat of my pants was not in firm contact with the seat of my seat like it should have been and these moments continued throughout the movie although not as frequently. I think the one pitfall that most vampire movies I have seen seem to fall into is that the vampires are incredibly one dimensional and that one dimension is “cool”. No matter what they do they always try to make them look awesome doing it as though a vampire is simply what the kids would look like if The Fonz bred with a mosquito. This movie avoids that danger masterfully. Not all of the characters are overly complex but none of them are “cool” for the sake of it and I personally though they were quite believable. (In so far as a portrayal of a vampire can be believable.) While Daybreakers does dodge that and many other clichés there are plenty that it hits square on. This for me however did not affect my enjoyment of the film. In fact I think it would have been slightly less enjoyable if there wasn´t one or two moments where you groaned and whispered to yourself “of course.”

You may be surprised to read that I got a laugh or two out of this film. The only problem is that I don´t think I was supposed to. One moment in particular near the start of the movie induced quite an audibly jovial response from the patrons but the dire look on Ethan Hawke´s face, which can only be described as being laced with drama befitting a daytime soap opera, almost seemed to say “You think that´s funny? You disgust me.”

The acting in this movie is generally quite good. Also, it includes a couple of Aussie stars which is always nice to see. The only actor I think might polarize the audiences is Willem Dafoe. While I can certainly see that some people are just not going to warm to him and find him to be completely over the top, I thought he was great. It´s hard to describe. The second he opens his mouth he almost seems like the only person on screen that is realistic and yet he is a complete caricature who shows no respect for the acting style that has driven the movie up to this point. The fact that it works so well for him is almost offensive.

Overall this movie had everything I needed. Enough gore to repulse me, enough shocks to excite me, enough talent to entertain me and enough cheesy-ness to let me know I was watching a horror movie.

Who Should See This Movie:
-Anybody who likes vampire movies but doesn´t mind if it isn´t the greatest one on earth.
-Anybody who would like to see a slightly different portrayal of vampires.
-Anybody who has seen the trailers and find themselves curious.

Who shouldn´t see this movie:
-People who don´t like blood.
-People who demand precise realism in their theatrical viewings.
-Small Czechoslovakian goat herders on their lunch break.

Unless there is a next time.
Goodbye forever.

Luke Venables
Chief Vice Deputy Secretary to the Garbage Man’s Personal Assistant


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