Daybreakers


Or should I say Avatar: Part II? Well, at least there’s one thing this hyper-stylized thriller gives us and that’s vampires who don’t enter a murderous rage after some heavy petting.

Centering itself on a world where vampires have become the new black, humans are rounded up like cattle to feed their yellow eyed overloads; as a result, blood supplies are running low and it is up to Edward (Ethan Hawke harnessing his full powers of brooding and sullenness) to develop a blood substitute. Meeting a group of renegade humans (populated by the former casts of Home & Away and The Secret Lives of Us), Edward discovers that their leader Elvis (Willem Defoe) holds the key to a potential cure and return to humanity.
Sam Neill hovers ominously overhead as Edward’s malevolent benefactor, cementing it’s post-apocalyptic credentials (and proving that along with William H Macy, he’ll do anything for a paycheck).

The plot for all its intentions, remains little more than an irritation, getting in the way of the sudden jolts the directors produce with wanton glee and enthusiasm. There is no character development, with each character essentially ending the movie with the same level of depth with which they entered it. Characters are introduced, only to serve a purpose and meet their eventual end, whether it be violent or simple redundancy.

A significant amount of time is given over to establishing imagery and analogies to real life situations such as food shortages, corporate greed and simple ethical egoism but are handled with such force that it’s like trying to force a round peg into a square hole; using C4 explosives.

Where the movie truly shines is in its aesthetics, being both beautifully captured and developed. In spite of its faults, it somehow manages to still evoke a sense of foreboding and end of days physicality that is rarely seen elsewhere. Perhaps best watched without sound, the feel and visuals outlive the actual message of the script and make it a quite enjoyable piece to watch.

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    • Bngr
    • January 27th, 2010

    Check, check and check. They tried so hard with the minutae that they left out the plot and the end and any credibility along the way. I like the gadgety car, the focus on advertising and daily civil society of new world order and how that crumbles into Hobbes style disaster, but the non story and the Sam Neill plastic cheese and most especially the end sequence was just appalling. They could have gone somewhere with the ending, but they went for the budget make your own mind up option, and the maniacal feeding frenzy of vampires eating humans – turning human – being eaten – was just too much. Mob attack your way back to civility.

    • thejackanory
    • March 16th, 2010

    It looked cool though, the easily amused man in me was very impressed with that part

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