Showing 1 - 3 of 3 Reviews
Posted on 9/19/12 11:10 PM
Pretty looking pictures and nice CGI can only get you so far, but the pacing is uneven and the story's completely disinteresting. Good drinking movie?
Posted on 9/15/12 07:35 PM
Bland yet tolerable.
Posted on 2/18/10 12:48 PM
Daybreakers is the Spierig brothers second outing after Undead (a movie I didn't get the chance to see), but I have a sneaking suspicion as to what sort of films they will continue to make. Films with grand ideas that put most Hollywood/horror directors to shame, yet excruciatingly generic execution. By generic I mean quite terrible, but it is not the sort of terrible that sucks your life into a dark abyss and spits you out feeling wet and violated. This is the sort of terrible that could, without a doubt, capture the hearts of horror fans. With a great script, fine acting, and more reliance on character and less on blood and visual effects, Daybreakers has the potential of becoming a great horror film.
Although there are some nifty blood effects and some great cinematography, lo and behold it's a terrible mess. But I respect the ideas that were concocted by the Spierig brothers. It's like these two should be the people who come up with the plot of a film, while someone like Christopher Nolan or Darron Aronofsky, who can actually write and direct a coherent story, could sub in (My head would explode from pure awesomeness). This way, their vision of a fantastical Utopian world where vampires outnumber humans 20 to 1 could be fully realized and not come off as another dreadful January movie.
I'll get out my main qualms with the movie out of the way first, with some loving praise interspersed here and there, before completely bitching it out for the lost potential. I'll reference the first scene because it features everything wrong and right with the film. First of all, the music. This is the sort of thing that can nearly ruin a movie, because it forces the audience to think one way or another. It's as if the filmmakers don't think the audience has the balls or brains to muster up their own emotions. I was almost torn apart by the implied suicide of the girl, but since the music is so overbearing and overdone I had to just shake my head in embarrassment.
Which brings me to my next point, that this film knows no subtlety. Don't get me wrong, the likes of Transformers 1 or Final Destination can be fabulous campy fun, but they don't have much going for them besides robots that go boom or teens that run headfirst into death. Daybreakers had the potential of being the next Let the Right One In. Now I know not every film has to measure up to that, but the ideas are so stimulating that it's okay to step it up to a more intelligent level. So back to the suicide scene, something that could have been horrifying is watered down to another exorcise in cheesy special effects. It's like the directors have no concept of what pain goes through someone's head before they take their own life. The scene is a complete throwaway because they believe the audience could not possibly be invested in a character we just met. How about Kirk's father sacrificing himself in Star Trek? Or the touching 5 minutes of wordless actions that broke everyone's heart in Up? Another major problem is the visuals, which at times can be great but is mostly amateurish at best. While it's not Wolverine bad (That one cost 8 times as much with some of the worst visuals of all time), it really distracts from the themes on display. You should feel absolute terror when the child is being demolished by the sun, but the bad visuals make you forget that someone is committing suicide, and replace your feelings of sadness with an opposite reaction. Without such a strong reliance on visuals and gore, the story ironically could have gone to darker places. The Spierig brothers needed a script that focused on human emotions, not buckets of blood or neat-o disintegrating vampires.
I'll briefly touch upon the acting, which not surprisingly is feeble at best. Ethan Hawke is my personal favorite actor of the bunch, but he sleepwalks through this role. Sam Neill as the evil corporate scumbag is just another illogical villain that inexplicably makes the most idiotic decisions because the script calls on him to do so. Willem Dafoe at least is having fun hamming up the screen with an odd inbred Elvis persona, but one can only handle his character to a point. The rest I won't even bother with because they each have the character arc of a Popsicle stick.
I know this film obviously isn't trying to be Oscar material, but I'm just angry knowing that this genius material and one helluva plot twist are treated like some stupid gimmick to accompany a sub par script. The script without a doubt stinks, but I can't help but wonder what could have come from this wonderful idea. The ideas are so inspired, so original, that this film needs to be re-imagined by some other great filmmaker that can do the material justice. There's a great story waiting to be told, and sadly this ain't it.