Monday, June 20, 2011

Movie review: "Daybreakers"

This week I am on vacation, so I hope I will be able to finish all the late reviews. One of them is about "Daybreakers" a vampire action thriller I watched last week. On IMDB I found out it is about near future where vampires are dominant and human almost extinct, so they are working on some cure to fix all that.

This is true: movie takes place in near future, after some outbreak where vampires conquered the world and society. Now we have vampires living in nice houses on suburbia, going to work during night, going out to coffee-shops to drink coffee mixed with blood and so on. For the richer, there is even a possibility of modding you car to enable you driving during day. Humans are almost gone: there are few out in wilderness hiding, but most of the remnants are used for blood-farms. World-building is actually quite good and it all feels natural. There are few nice quirks separating the movie from rest of the bunch: fashion based on first half of 20th century (coats, hats and so on), colors and the fact that everybody smokes (since vampires don't have to be scared of cancer). At first sight, it looks like a nice place to live (if you are a vampire). But not everything is so well in world: extinction of humans also means a shortage of blood. And few days of blood-shortage transforms a well-mannered vampire gentleman to feral blood-crazy monster with wings.

Edward Dalton (played by Ethan Hawke) is a talented scientist working on finding a formula for substitute blood. He is also hoping he will one day be able to find cure of those have been turned to vampires against their will (like himself). After chance encounter with some escaping humans, he will hear about someone who was supposedly been able to reverse the process. This will not sit well with his boss who is satisfied by status quo and having a monopoly on blood-resources.

First part of the movie is good and sets a high standard. As I said, world-building is very good and it makes a believable world. Unfortunately, the plot is not so good. After initial introduction, this turns to some action thriller with predictable outcomes. Also, the characters and the actors that play them are not interesting, either. We have a collection of totally bland characters, with almost no characterization or explanation why are they doing whatever they are doing. From the way film started, I hoped for something in direction of "Matrix", but what I got was nowhere it.

Also, effects are not exactly fantastical. This is especially true at the end of the movie, where we are having false blood splashing in liters.

In the end, I can't say that "Daybreakers" is totally bad and that you shouldn't watch it. Just be sure no to have very high expectations, especially if you are a fan of vampire movies.

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