Review by Jack Foley
TIMUR Bekmambetov’s keenly-anticipated sequel to Russian vampire movie Night Watch is an utterly bewildering experience that makes a mess out of a once promising franchise.
It boasts some impressive special effects and the odd nice performance but is too confusing to grip and doesn’t really make any sense.
Night Watch (or Nochnoi Dozor) was originally conceived as the first part in a triloy that Day Watch continues. But, if reports are to be believed, Bekmambetov’s follow-up has attempted to merge the final two instalments with predictably sprawling results.
The plots come thick and fast and you really won’t stand a chance if you haven’t seen the original.
To recap briefly, the Night Watch is an ancient order charged with enforcing a truce between the forces of good and evil. When one of their members – Konstantin Khabensky’s Anton Gorodetsky – is framed for murder, it’s up to his companions to prevent the inevitable outbreak of violence that could herald the end of the world.
The Dark Lord Zavulon, meanwhile, plots to use Anton’s estranged son to kickstart the apocalyptic war, while various friends and former lovers decide which side to take.
Day Watch certainly looks spectacular and boasts plenty of impressive set pieces (including a motorbike versus bus chase through the snowy streets of Moscow and the sight of a car driving up a building) but it’s badly let down by the director’s desire to cram too much into one movie.
It makes the two hour-plus running time feel very arduous indeed and could well have you reaching for the headache tablets.
When it transpires that matters eventually hinge upon a ‘Chalk Of Destiny’ that has the power to erase the past, you may even find yourself wishing for your own piece of white magic to recoup the hours you’ve just lost.
As fun as Day Watch is in places, it simply doesn’t add up to a satisfying whole.
DVD Release Date: January 28, 2008