Friday, October 4, 2013

Night Watch (2004)

Number Rolled: 44
Movie Name/Year: Night Watch (2004)
Genre: Thriller
Length: 114 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Writer: Timur Bekmambetov, Laeta Kalogridis, Sergey Lukyanenko
Actors: Konstantin Khabenskiy, Vladimir Menshov, Valeriy Zolotukhin, Mariya Poroshina, Galina Tyunina, Yuriy Kutsenko, Aleksey Chadov, Zhanna Friske, Ilya Lagutenko, Viktor Verzbitskiy, Rimma Markova, Mariya Mironova, Aleksey Maklakov, Aleksandr Samoylenko, Dmitriy Martynov, Anna Slyu, Anna Dubrovskaya

The Protectors of Light and the Warriors of Darkness learned that they were equal in strength, neither able to win a direct war. So, they came to a truce. The two sides police each other, separating into Night Watch and Day Watch. The Others (supernatural humans) that make up the warriors, are held to specific rules in order to ensure the truce is not broken. However, when a prophecy comes to light, proving that they may be forced to call off the truce all together, it comes down to one basic and necessary question: Will the Great One choose to lend his power to the light or to the dark?

“Night Watch” wasn’t really something I would have chosen to add to my queue on my own. Truth is, I’m not really the biggest fan of subtitles outside of the anime genre. However, a friend of mine brought it up to me. At the time, only “Day Watch” was available on Netflix, which is the second film, and since I was unsure if the second of the trilogy could stand on its own without the back-story, I waited until “Night Watch” was available. That was a little over a month ago.

Visually, the movie was absolutely breath taking, except there was a bit too much slow motion for me. I get what the director was trying to do with it; I just don’t think it fully worked. Like in “The Matrix,” the slow motion was used to capture an aspect of non-mundane notion. For “The Matrix” that conveyed idea was the lack of reality in the matrix, in “Night Watch,” it was meant to portray general supernatural nature. In some cases it worked, in others it just seemed like the movie was stalling itself, trying to reach a certain maximum time. At one point I could swear I watched a nail fall for about ten minutes. Ridiculous. Slow motion is good in smaller doses; at least in anything that isn’t supposed to be a comedy.

I did get bored; which is a shame, because the story was really great. There were little twists and mind games – which is exactly what I like to see in my thrillers. The concept of the two sides policing each other (good vs. evil) and the necessity of free will in order to keep the truce, was one I really enjoyed seeing.

Although the method used wasn’t one of my favorites, I would still recommend “Night Watch” to others.

Overall Opinion – 3.5/5

P.S. Only the beginning is in English, the rest is sub-titled.

P.P.S. “Night Watch” is loosely based on the book “The Night Watch” by Sergei Lukyanenko and is the first of a trilogy. (“Day Watch” and “Twilight Watch” being the last two, in order.)

Movie Trailer: 

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