Night Watch, Hardly Watch

September 21, 2008

d. Timur Bekmambetov

Night Watch, the Russian horror/fantasy sfx extravaganza, is one of those movies that is all thunder and no rain. Lotsa noise, little substance. It moves from stunning visual to stunning visual, connected by the thinnest thread of a plot and really poor dialogue with no emotional pay-off.

Aah! What the hell is going on this movie?!

Aah! What the hell is going on this movie?!

From what I gathered, the Night Watch are the good-guys, servants of light in a millennia-old battle against the Day Watch, the bad-guys most of whom are vampires. The plot has the Night Watch seeking out a kid, who according to prophecy, will choose a faction, forever tipping the balance in that faction’s favor. There is also a subplot about a cursed person, the Vortex, whose connection to the main event I am fuzzy on.

I am mostly fuzzy on this movie because after about ten minutes, I grew bored with the film. I have a tough time following characters with ill-defined supernatural powers and with films that showcase the effects more than the characters. The film wants to be The Matrix in terms of scope, philosophy and action set-pieces, but it all barely hangs together.

That being said, the film looks great and the special effects are well done, but if I’m singing the sets and not the songs, well… you know. So after this confused mess, we’ll see if it improves with Day Watch. But next up, I should have I, Madman.

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