Day Watch

"Good"

Day Watch Review


We feel the pull of the metaphorical light and dark everyday: Should I lie? Steal? Cheat? Have that second bowl of ice cream? Or should I do the "right" thing? Taking this push-pull of desires and ideals and applying it to the supernatural is the crux of Day Watch, the second film in the Night Watch series. Unfortunately, like its predecessor, Day Watch gets caught up in its flashy, over-the-top visual effects and misses the thematic mark. But that's what you'd expect from any other big budget "blockbuster."

As follow-up to the first major release of a Russian film after the collapse of the Soviet film industry (Night Watch had a budget of $4.2 million), Day Watch does an admirable job of keeping the pace brisk and the action constant, despite the fact that the film is built upon flimsy plot devices. The film follows Night Watch protagonist Anton as he attempts to reconnect with his son Yegor, who defected to the dark side, while pursuing a relationship with a new trainee in the Night Watch -- a group that polices the dark supernatural beings (the dark police keeping tabs on the light side is the Day Watch).

The film makes no attempts to veil its subtext, Yegor is the Great Dark One and Anton's love interest is the Great Light One; both of them literally pulling for his attention from either side. And the MacGuffin driving the action? The Chalk of Fate -- a magical piece of chalk that can change events depending on what the holder writes. Best not even to mention the 30 minutes Anton spends as a woman and bunks with his infatuated trainee, in a cheap, manipulative way to drive the love story forward as quickly as possible.

In an ironic twist, the saving grace of Day Watch is also what takes away from the film's story -- the visual effects. It's not that the effects are particularly good, but director Timur Bekmambetov has a visual style that's one part Jean-Pierre Jeunet (City of Lost Children, Amelie) and one part Wachowski brothers (The Matrix, Speed Racer). For the most part, it works for him: Day Watch's action keeps the film plowing through the nagging plot questions of "Who's that again?" and "What's happening?" Perhaps the most distinct and interesting use of effects is the visual punctuations within the subtitles: "Bitch!" splatters in red against a white wall as a hurled chunk of raw meat slides down it; words said in anger violently shake and shatter, while utterances of despair dissolve into vapor. The visual subtitle twist works well for the action-driven film where eye candy is more important than genuine emotion, and it may even curb cries of boredom from lazy moviegoers who don't want to "read" their movies.

Although Day Watch is the Russian equivalent of a Hollywood money-grabber, it's surprisingly fun and at least gives the illusion of depth with Anton's pining over his dark son. Entering a genre that's overstuffed with bombastic computer-generated effects, Day Watch's supernatural police and Bekmambetov's rich visual palette give the film enough strength at least to throw a couple elbows to set itself apart from other nameless films with plenty of effects, but little vision.

Aka Dnevnoy dozor.

Yep, it's Memorex.



Day Watch

Facts and Figures

Run time: 132 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 1st January 2006

Box Office USA: $0.4M

Box Office Worldwide: $38.9M

Budget: $4.2M

Distributed by: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Production compaines: Bazelevs Production, Channel One Russia, TABBAK

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 64%
Fresh: 61 Rotten: 35

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: Konstantin Ernst, Anatoli Maksimov

Starring: Konstantin Khabenskiy as Anton Gorodetsky, as Svetlana, as Geser, Galina Tyunina as Olga, Zhanna Friske as Alisa, Viktor Verzhbitskiy as Zavulon, Dmitriy Martynov as Egor, Nurzhuman Ikhtymbayev as Zoar, Aleksei Maklakov as Semen, Aleksandr Samoylenko as Bear, Yuriy Kutsenko as Ignat, Irina Yakovleva as Galina Rogova, Georgiy Dronov as Tolik, Nikolay Olyalin as The Inquisitor, Valeriy Zolotukhin as Kostya’s Father, Rimma Markova as The Witch Darya, Anna Slyusareva as Tiger Cub, Igor Lifanov as The Parrot, as Egor’s Mother, Anna Dubrovskaya as The Vampiress, Sergey Ovchinnikov as Sergey Ovchinnikov, Anton Stepanenko as Anton Stepanenko, Sergey Trofimov as Zavulon’s Secretary, Aleksey Chadov as Kostja

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Advertisement
Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.