Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Night Watch

Night Watch
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Written by Bekmambetov with Laeta Kalogridis from the Sergei Lukyanenko novel
Fox Searchlight

Or: Nochnoi Dozor. Here's one of the biggest Russian hits of all time. It took quite awhile for it to hit here, I mentioned its kick-ass trailer way back in April last year. Would the movie live up to the promise?

Long ago, the forces of light and dark fought one another in that grand supernatural battlefield, trying to get greater numbers and thus making the world go their way. During this battle, though, it was discovered that the forces were too evenly matched, and that the war could only end with both sides completely dead. So a truce was called, and rules were made. People would choose whether or not they wanted to be evil or good without any supernatural help, and these decisions would be monitored by the night watch and the day watch. If one of the supernatural "others" crossed the line and tried to impose their will on these decisions, the truce would be broken. As always, there's a prophecy about a child "other" having to make a decision and that decision causing a great disturbance in the force.

Yes, it's a lot like Star Wars, only Russian and with more horror elements. So, with that background, we focus on Anton Gorodetsky (Konstantin Khabensky), a member of the night watch. His job at the moment is chasing down a little boy, Yegor (Dmitry Martynov), who is being summoned by a vampire. On his way to finding the boy, Anton runs into a woman, Svetlana (Maria Poroshina), with a strange presence about her, one that is found to signal the apocalypse. Her presence is causing an unbalance, and it sets into motion a series of events that begin to unlock the prophecy. I've been purposely vague.

The movie is filled with strange, cool stuff. It's a lot like Star Wars not just because it has a storyline that sort of follows its lead, but the setup is a lot like it, leaving you with a cliffhanger that will lend itself into the next story. In that way, we're going to have to look at this movie as Act I of the complete planned trilogy. Day Watch has already hit Russia and has been breaking box office records; it will be interesting whether Night Watch does well enough here to bring over the sequel (although the IMDb already lists Day Watch as Night Watch 2 for the English title, which is a good sign).

So, as Act I goes, I'm intrigued. A lot of stuff happens. I could have spent four or five paragraphs discussing the plot and still not have given anything away. We might have a cult hit in the making for American audiences.


At 3/09/2006 08:18:00 AM, Blogger MaraJade said...

Is he cuddling with an owl in that picture?

Star wars? sounds good to me. I'm interested...

At 3/09/2006 11:43:00 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Yeah, it's some chick with a curse on her--she eventually helps out.

Yes, STAR WARS themes are everpresent in this--there's even a battle at the end that you could arguably say uses a light saber. It's a flourescent bulb, but the allusion seems pretty clear.

At 3/09/2006 03:20:00 PM, Blogger MaraJade said...

hmm, odd on the lightsaber part.

Hot chic as an owl part - kinda cool. Very "Ladyhawke" of them. She is hot right? lol.

At 3/09/2006 04:41:00 PM, Blogger Chris said...

In the immortal words of guys scoping out chicks, "She's all right." Meaning, eh, she's not unattractive or anything.


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