It’s not quite Ferris Bueller for the 21st century, but Daybreak is upfront about its affectionate relationship with that iconic film, from our hero Josh’s to-camera voiceovers to casting Matthew Broderick (the original Ferris) as the high school principal. It also unashamedly reaches far and wide for further inspiration: everything from Mad Max to Supernatural (in which Colin Ford, who plays Josh, also appeared) get a look-in. But it’s any number of apocalyptic zombie stories that are the most obvious starting point for the tale of Los Angeles after a bomb turns all (or most) of the adults into flesh-eating ghouls but leaves the kids alive and well and ruling the world. This is more than a collection of amusing homages, though. Structurally, it’s as clever as it is entertaining, blending expository flashbacks with present events in a way that keeps both parallel narratives sizzling along. The gore is more cartoonish than gross. And it’s full of laugh-out-loud lines, helped tremendously by the timing and delivery of the terrific cast. Broderick is always wonderful, given half a chance. Ford is tremendously likeable. And the headliners are ably supported by a host of other young players who are clearly having the time of their lives.

Melinda Houston

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