With New Years well behind us, we find ourselves looking to the future. What does it hold in store for us? The answer, of course, is a futuristic society almost entirely made up of vampires.
By the looks of it, Daybreakers is more likely a cross between Matrix: Revolutions and 28 Weeks Later, with the unfortunate difference is that unlike the aforementioned shitty sequels, it doesn't have an entertaining origin film to leech sympathy from. The suck from this is all original, folks.
Not much to say about Daybreakers, which takes place in futuristic world where everyone dresses like it is 1957. Populated entirely by vampires feeding on a rapidly dwindling supply of human blood, a ragtag group of human revolutionaries takes on the bloodsucking power structure armed with crossbows, UV lamps, and a cure for vampirism that nobody seems to want. Insert Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe, combine liberally with some poorly conceived metaphors, then serve cold.
Considering all of the shots of CEO/Politician looking vampires, the film is definitely going for the big "Thinking Man's Cinema" with the major theme being the corporate power structure literally feeding off of the human lower class, with strong undertones of the corporate power structure blindly bleeding dry natural resources with nothing but profit as the motive. These are definitely topics that resonate during these strenuous economic times, but this odd Dark City meets Underworld hybrid might be pushing the limit with how far you can take such strong subject matter without appearing too needy.
Blade took on the same themes, and in some ways is the true inspiration for Daybreakers in a sort of "What If Blade Didn't Win At The End" pseudo-sequel. But Blade kept it simple. Yes, the vampire were in control and fed off of humans like cattle, but the filmmakers knew that people weren't lining up for an advanced civics seminar: they just wanted to watch Wesley Snipes kick some vampire ass.
But it looks like Daybreakers has gotten the equation backwards. Much like the Matrix sequels, which foolishly cranked up the theological philosophy more than the wicked slow-motion gunfights, Daybreakers is investing way too much in the belief the moviegoers settling in for some human vs. vampires wars really are willing to trade decent action sequences for cool set design and deep philosophical pondering. And every shot I see in the trailer of a dozen crossbow-carrying humans facing off against vampire swat teams makes me think that a good portion of the film is going to be an internal struggle between style and substance, and one that the audience will invariably lose.
Then again, Underworld and Blade both managed to spawn a couple of horrendous sequels as well. So you never know.