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Day Watch (2006)

  Tags: Aleksei Chadov, dark fantasy, Day Watch, Galina Tyunina, Konstantin Khabensky, Mariya Mironova, Mariya Poroshina, Night Watch, Rimma Markova, Sergei Lukyanenko, Timur Bekmambetov, Valeri Zolotukhin, Viktor Verzhbitsky, Vladimir Menshov, Yuri Kutsenko, Zhanna Friske

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Timur Bekmambetov
113 minutes
Konstantin Khabensky, Aleksei Chadov, Yuri Kutsenko, Sergei Lukyanenko, Rimma Markova, Vladimir Menshov, Mariya Mironova, Mariya Poroshina, Galina Tyunina, Viktor Verzhbitsky, Valeri Zolotukhin, Zhanna Friske

The first film Night Watch opened to box office success in its native country of Russia, and two years later the US gets a taste of it via a limited theatrical release. I saw the first movie last year and found it to be creative, but lacking in the sense department. The films are based on the popular Russian novels by Sergei Lukyanenko. I've obviously never read the books, so I can't really say how much difference there is between the films to the novels. The first movie ended with a huge cliffhanger, obviously hinting at the fact that the story will continue via two more sequels, finishing it off as a trilogy. With the way the previous film ended, I was expecting the sequel to be full of answers and action. Once again, I was wrong. Although this movie shattered box office records in Russia, I personally found it no better than the first film. In fact, I think I liked the first movie slightly more.

The movie goes into its own story instead of fully continuing from where the previous one left off. In this movie we follow our lead "Anton" as he comes across a legendary tale of a mythical piece of chalk that can rewrite history. That's the basic premise of this film -- the forces of Day and Night try to get their hands on the chalk, while also attempting to frame Anton for murder. There are also the continuing back-stories of the two chosen leads of the Night and Day watch (the strange blonde woman and the young boy from the first movie). The blonde woman is now part of the Night Watch and slowly getting a grip on her powers, while the young boy is slightly older and is nearing his birthday -- a day that will grant him unspeakable power.

Once again, the movie has a lot of promise, but fails (much like the first) by delivering scenes that either have no real point to the story or are put there to simply awe the audience. One example would be a sequence involving a car driving its way through the side of a building and into an office. This is simply there to give the viewers some eye-candy as it was ultimately pointless to the rest of the story. There are other scenes similar to this that is only there to pick up the action since most of the movie is a bunch of dialogue. Just when the first film was getting good, it ends, leaving us to think the sequel will pick up all the action, but instead we get less action than we did in the previous film. Just when I thought the movie was hopeless, the last 20 minutes really picks up in terms of story and action and delivers a very sweet finale. I was quite pleased by the events in the last 20 minutes, which raised my spirits a bit, and made me think that the nearly two-hour time-frame wasn't entirely wasted away. In the end, I can only hope that the next film will redeem the lack of action that missing in the first two movies.

Sadly, not as good as the first, and that's not saying much. The film had promise, but the execution was poor -- adding unnecessary sequences and too much dialogue. Luckily, it does pick up in the last 20-minutes. Worth a check if you're a fan of the first.

Posted on December 8, 2010 - 11:44pm | FrighT MasteR