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Review: Daybreakers

Vampires, weakened
By PETER KEOUGH  |  January 6, 2010
2.5 2.5 Stars

 

For evidence of the breakdown of the capitalist system, look no farther than the proliferation of vampire and zombie movies. What better image of the exploitation and/or fear of the working classes could there be than blood-sucking revenants and cannibalistic hordes?

Although it falls apart as a thriller, Michael and Peter Spierig's black-comic splatterfest sets up an ingenious metaphor for the current economic nightmare. In 2019, almost everyone has turned into a vampire — which makes the few remaining humans a hot commodity in a blood-starved world.

Entrepreneurial capitalist Charles Bromley (Sam Neill, looking uncannily like Joe Lieberman) wants to corner the market (his warehouse full of naked hanging bodies is reminiscent of the human condition in The Matrix) and exploit the crisis. Big pharma and the oil industry, anyone? Too bad Ethan Hawke as a conscience-stricken vampire and Willem Dafoe as an unlikely leader of the human resistance aren't the equal of the symbolism.

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