Dub Cee Reviews: Daybreakers (2009)

 

In more and more modern day vampire stories, they tend to use the concept of a Vampire takeover of the Human world and some human…or half-human, fights to stop them. It makes for a fun story and usually works pretty well. “Daybreakers” takes this idea to the next phase where Vampire’s are in total control and humans are all but extinct. How does this work out? Keep reading!

Daybreakers stars a personal favorite of mine, Ethan Hawke as Edward Dalton. He is a scientist trying to find a alternative to human blood to sustain the Vampire population. See, the humans have been hunted down to where less than 5% of the population remains. The vampires, now starving, are regressing into true bat form and turning totally feral. Vampires are literally feeding on themselves which hastens the turn process.

Dalton, refuses to drink human blood and lives off the blood of various animals but even that is becoming increasingly rare and he is starting to show signs of regressing. His brother Frankie (Michael Dorman) is a vampire solider contracted to hunt down the last remaining humans so their blood can be harvested and distributed to the remaining vampire population. We find out that Edward never wanted to be a vampire and was turned by Frankie who did not want to see his brother killed by the incoming horde.

One night Hawke is in a car wreck and finds out the people in the other car are a small handful of humans. Hawke hides them in this car and points the police in the wrong direction allowing the humans led by Audrey Bennett (Claudia Karvan) to escape. A few nights later Bennett shows up in Dalton’s apartment saying she and the other humans have a cure but need his help to make it work. This is how we meet Lionel ‘Elvis’ Cormack (Willem Dafoe) who is a “cured” vampire. He has the bite marks but can walk in the daylight and has a heartbeat, which is supposed to be impossible if you are a vampire. He tells his story to Dalton who tries to recreate the circumstances surrounding Cormac’s cure.

For me the highlight performance was actually Sam Neill as Charles Bromley, who is the head of the main blood harvesting corporation and is Dalton’s employer. You can tell that Neill was really enjoying being the manipulative bastard.

And overall, that acting is very solid in the film. I like the fact they took a common idea of the Vampire take over and took it to the next level. I mean, vampires waking up and going to work and getting a cup of coffee on their way was just very cool to me. I left out quite a bit in terms of the story as I thought the actual cure was another unique idea and sets up for a interesting climatic scene. That said, I was a little disappointed with the last half hour of the movie. It was full of so many good and different concepts that to end it with a big shootout and flying limbs was a bit of a letdown. Don’t get me wrong, I love a nice big blowout to end a story but this movie deserved a little bit better in my honest opinion.

Overall, the pacing was great, the characters were interesting, the story was different, and the cure was great.

Final Grade: B

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2 Responses to “Dub Cee Reviews: Daybreakers (2009)”

  1. Yeah, I agree with you on this. I’m still not sure how I feel about the film overall. Taken as just a pulpy little B-Movie, it’s extremely well done. The problem is, Daybreakers is just on the cusp of being something more than that, but falls short, which end up leaving me disappointed in it. There’s some really good ideas, great acting and a good eye went into filming.
    This is the second film by The Spierig Brothers, who also did Undead. Undead was much like this, in that they did a different take on a zombie film, brought some really good ideas to it, then sort of fucked it up at the end. These guys are ones to watch, I think. If they get it to all come together, they could make something really brilliant.

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