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Night Watch

Nochnoi Dozor

2004

Night Watch
 

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The Movie

The battle between good and evil is so evenly balanced, that should it continue, all will be destoyed. So, hundreds of years ago, the battle was stopped. The forces of Light and the forces of Darkness made a deal - neither good not evil can take place without mutual consent. And a Day Watch was created, to watch over the forces of Light, with a Night Watch to watch over the forces of Darkness. But after a thousand years, the Great Other will come, and choose the side of Evil ...

That's the backdrop for a modern-day epic trilogy; Night Watch shows how the Great One was found - and why he chose the way he did.

Review

This is one great movie; took more than triple what "The Return of the King" achieved at the Russian box office, and has kick-started the whole Russian movie industry.

The story is complex, and the opening scenes are dialog-heavy in explaining things, so for us subtitle sufferers, it is quite hard work. As the film proceeds, the story takes off, and the sheer size of the thing takes over; it is not really a vampire movie - there are vampires, and central to the plot; but they are small fry, they are included to illustrate the workings of the ancient Good & Evil Deal - they are 'licensed' and allowed to prey within limits, and if they break the rules, the Watch will hunt them down. They do have special powers, including the ability to 'call' potential victims to them. And there's a measure of invisibility when required, too. But they are not the only ones with exceptional powers; there are transformers (not so much robots in disguise, as owls, bears ...). Some can 'see' the future, too. And all this has been blended with computers and some hi-tech weaponry.

Much of the camera work is stunning, making much of the nighttime urban landscape, but the special effects, while clever, add little to the plot, and often are simply distracting. I regret I have not read the novel - but the screenplay moves at a fair pace, and the director does not allow much in the way of rest!

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, which triggered thoughts of Donny Darko, Bladerunner and Edward Scissorhands, among others. But it is a genuine original.

The DVD

  • Directed by Timur Bekmambetov
  • Screenplay Timur Bekmambetov
  • Based on a noel by Sergei Lukyanenko
  • Cast includes: Konstantin Khabensky (as Anton Gorodetsky), Vladimir Menshov (Geser), Mariya Poroshina (Svetlana), Yuri Kutsenko (Ignat), Ilya Lagutenko (Andrei the Vampire), Viktor Verzhbitsky (Zavulon), Mariya Mironova (Yegor's Mother), Aleksei Maklakov (Semyon), Dmitry Martynov (Yegor).

Background

"Night Watch" is the first part of a trilogy based on books by Sergei Lukyanenko.

Fox will distribute Timur Bekmambetov's movie and its sequel, "Day Watch", and will then go into production on a prequel to both films, "Dusk Watch," which will be released by Fox. Depending on how successful that is, Fox will have the right to remake both "Night Watch" and "Day Watch" as English-language sequels.

 

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The Vampyreverse 10 January 2016 Copyright Andrew Heenan Privacy