Re:View – ‘Daybreakers’

The Arts

The poster says it’s a cross between ‘The Matrix’ and ’28 Days Later’ (because all films have to be the love-child of two other films these days) but it’s closer in tone to Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘Near Dark’. Ethan Hawke is a hematologist at the company harvesting humans for blood in a world overrun with vampires, and supplies are running out. The invention of a blood substitute could solve the problem, but then evil Sam Neill, all glittering eyes and lowered brows, won’t get to sell the real stuff to high-end customers. Hawke’s avoiding human plasma on moral grounds, but risks degenerating into a bat without the required corpuscles, so he teams with humans to fight back.

It’s a well-told tale, but I do wonder how many more twists they can wring out of the vampire legends without adding significantly to them. This actually feels like a story of economics forced to indulge in action sequences when Sam would rather be giving us a Powerpoint presentation on salesmanship, but it’s handsomely mounted without being too taxing, and there are nice touches, like the car that’s adapted for day driving and the coffee/blood blended takeaways. Quite why the future has been retrofitted to 1940s fashionwear when all the architecture is futuristic is anyone’s guess, but that’s the kind of film it is. Chrysler product placement pokes you in the eye every few minutes, and some of the CGI work looks fairly crummy on home video.

2 comments on “Re:View – ‘Daybreakers’”

  1. Mary says:

    How very interesting. I think my son would love this, as he appears to be ‘enchanted’ by vampires! The only bloodsuckers that I meet are the swines that take my tax. It’s a brilliant review. Thanks so much.

  2. Lou Morgan says:

    Interesting to read about the 1940s touches: “Caprica” has been doing something very similar on television – while the buildings and technology are futuristic, a good portion of the fashion is 1940s, and a lot of the cars too. I can’t decide whether it’s supposed to further involve us in the environment by presenting us with a combination of the strange & the familiar, or whether it’s purely for style.

    Mind you, any era that brings back hats is a winner as far as I’m concerned – I *do* like a nice trilby.

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