Daybreakers (2010)

★ ★ ☆ ☆

Daybreakers was an ambitious attempt to create an unconventional vampire film that would force the audience to examine the philosophical implications of the genre anew. By that metric, it failed. Unfortunately, the Spierig Brothers have no eye for subtlety. There's an old literary adage that tells authors that it's better to 'show' the audience something, rather than to 'tell' it to them. The Spierig Brothers prefer to do both. This is the kind of condescending screenwriting that gives Hollywood a bad name. The laughably bad dialogue doesn't help either.

If you can put aside any concerns for psychological realism, and artistic merit, you may still enjoy the movie. The action sequences are above average, and it does have a few laughs (not all of them are unintentional). Ethan Hawke and Sam Neil did a fair job, and Willem Dafoe was actually quite good. I'm not quite sure why the directors felt the need to blow everything up. I think they drastically overestimate how much the audience enjoys gratuitus destruction.

There really isn't much more to say about Daybreakers. It's a typical action movie that seemed like it might have some depth. The anti-pharmaceutical industry allegory was somewhat interesting, though overplayed. The screenplay was so thoroughly drenched with vampire blood that I doubt anyone actually cared about the plot. The only particular strength was the ending. It calls to mind George Constanzas thoughts on dying: “I’ve lived my whole life in shame — why should I die with dignity?” If you're looking for a generic action movie, it's probably worth your while. Just don't expect anything more from it.