Ten years ago, I was invited to a nifty brunch with a bunch of comics professionals by JK Woodward, my collaborator on a couple of Star Trek comics. It was a fun day, in which I made a few friends, and then a bunch of us saw this Ethan Hawke movie, which was, um, not good. A friend of mine on Facebook recently watched it for the first time, and I dredged this blog entry from January 2010 up, and now I present it to you……
So I had brunch with a bunch of comics folk yesterday, and it was very pleasant and fun, and a couple of people said, “Hey, who wants to come see Daybreakers with us?” and I said yes.
I won’t go so far as to say this was a mistake, as I enjoyed the company, and the four of us had a great time going to the movies together, but ye flipping gods, is Daybreakers a shitty movie.
The concept is rather a good one: vampires have become the dominant race on the planet, with living humans a hunted minority (because they’re the food supply). The problem is that, because each new vampire means one fewer human, the food supply is dwindling and as the movie starts, the vampire population is facing a crisis.
The world building here isn’t bad — the world is now run by people who only come out at night, so all commerce and business is done when the sun is down. Secret meetings are held at noon instead of midnight. Smoking is fairly prevalent, since vampires suffer no ill effects from cigarettes or cigars.
But the actual movie is utter crap. Dull characters, predictable plot points, and ridiculous amounts of unnecessary gore, including a climax that bleeds over into the absurd (choice of verb deliberate). This wouldn’t be so bad if the gore were in any way convincing or shocking, but mostly it’s just silly looking.
Ethan Hawke is incredibly boring as the angst-ridden vampire, and Sam Neill is surprisingly dull as the bad guy. Willem Dafoe sparkles as the one cured vampire, but he doesn’t have nearly enough screentime to save this turkey.