Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Daybreakers – Consider my Day Broke
Daybreakers is a movie that doesn’t know what it is. It comes off as this big budget action film, when at its heart is a throwback to the era of trashy B-movies. You can’t go into this movie expecting quality because if you do you’ll be thoroughly disappointed, but if you open your mind to the inner sleaze of the movie what you walk away with is a damn near brilliant cult classic in the making.
Here’s the thing about Daybreakers, the ideology of the film is pretty heavy handed. It has a very anti-corporate message warning of the perils of greed and the squandering of our natural resources. Right wingers need not apply. Typically I try to avoid bring any political view into my reviews, but you can’t really help it in this case. The filmmakers make it impossible.
The film takes place in the near future after a vampiric bat starts an outbreak and turns the population of humans into blood drinkers (they don’t show any of this, but they imply it during the opening credits). Now its ten years later and the blood supply has been depleted to less than a month’s worth of blood left and the human population is dwindling. Chief hematologist Edward Dalton (Ethan Hawke) is desperately trying to devise a blood substitute in order to quell the inevitable riots that will be taking place. He works for a major blood farm run by Charles Bromley (Sam Neil) a money and power hungry caricature of an evil executive. A man who’s even willing to kill his only daughter because she’s not willing to drink her blood after she’s turned against her will by his order. The government has a zero tolerance policy towards subsiders after all. Apparently one of the disadvantages of being Vampyre is if you become blood deprived you become a twisted mutated creature they lovingly refer to as “subsiders” (in ‘Merica we call them Mexicans).
So it’s a race against the clock for our man Dalton to find an answer or so we thought. A chance encounter with a group of humans on the run helps solidify Dalton’s already lingering feeling that being Nosferatu is wrong, especially when he meets Elvis (AKA Lionel Cormac played by the best thing in this film, Willem Defoe) who happens to be a former undead. Together they discover a way to turn Vamps back into humans. Hooray for mankind, kind of.
Look basically here’s how it goes, if you have a love for B-movies and can leave your politics at the door. If you can empty your brain and come in with zero expectations, you’ll probably enjoy it. In fact, my biggest complaint is that it was too short. I could have used another 20-30 minutes of the action in the third act. These vampires explode when you stake them in the heart. They burn up in the sunlight, but most importantly, they don’t sparkle.
4 Sci-Fi Vampires out of 5
Next up: who knows, I’m watching 9 movies this week so whatever I post next. Maybe Youth in Revolt
P.S. with lines like “We’re humans living in a world of vampires, it’s about as safe as bare backing a $5 whore” how can you go wrong. Seriously Daybreakers is worth seeing for Willem Defoe alone.