A fantasy-thriller set in present-day Moscow where the respective forces that control daytime and nighttime do battle.A fantasy-thriller set in present-day Moscow where the respective forces that control daytime and nighttime do battle.A fantasy-thriller set in present-day Moscow where the respective forces that control daytime and nighttime do battle.
The scope of Night Watch is immense and any summary of the plot is pretty useless. In a nutshell, humans with supernatural gifts (known as "others") are given the chance to choose between good and evil. Unlike most films, the forces of good and evil are not constantly at war but rather enjoy a very diplomatic truce. The good guys patrol the night (the "night watch"), while the bad guys patrol the day (the "day watch") in order to keep an eye on each other and to enforce the rules of the truce. Needless to say, the truce is broken.
I found the bureaucratic relationship between the forces of light and dark particularly amusing. In fact, the film has a strong undercurrent of dry humour, such as the scene in which Anton's vampire neighbour complains about vampires needing to apply for a licence before being allowed to feed on humans. While the film has a strong storyline, its greatest assets are Bekmambetov's stunning direction and the amazing special effects.
Bekmambetov's direction is innovative and stylish. The scene in which the camera follows a screw falling from a plane, down onto a building, through a shaft and into a woman's cup of coffee is simply phenomenal. The special effects are ridiculously well done for a film that cost 5 million dollars. Peter Jackson should watch this and be ashamed of flushing 200 million dollars down the toilet for trash like King Kong. Two examples of the astonishing quality of the special effects are the scene in which the night patrol van flips over a pedestrian and the scene in which a dark "other" removes his spine to use as a sword.
Night Watch is a huge breath of fresh air. It is a victory for imagination and talent over huge budgets and Hollywood hype. Russian vampires simply do it better. I can't wait to get my hands on "Day Watch", the sequel.
- Mar 25, 2006