Day Watch (2006)

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Connections: Night Watch

A man who serves in the war between the forces of Light and Dark comes into possession of a device that can restore life to Moscow, which was nearly destroyed by an apocalyptic event. --IMDb
Konstantin Khabenskiy
Konstantin Khabenskiy
Mariya Poroshina
Mariya Poroshina
Vladimir Menshov
Vladimir Menshov
Galina Tyunina
Galina Tyunina
Viktor Verzhbitskiy
Viktor Verzhbitskiy
Review by Crispy
Added: November 19, 2007
So, these movies are based on a series of novels. There are four books in the series (Night Watch, Day Watch, Twilight Watch, and Final Watch) and each book is made up of three stories. The first movie, Night Watch, is the telling of the first story from the first book, while this sequel covers the second and third stories from the same book. This fact is definitely noticeable as Day Watch feels a lot less coherent than the previous movie, and the plot is badly under-developed.

Before you read this plot synopsis, bear in mind it has some Night Watch spoilers in it, so those of you who still have it on your "To Watch" list, keep this in mind. Also, you should watch the two as close together as possible. I saw Day Watch about two or three weeks after Night Watch, and I had already forgot some of the minor characters from the first that were suddenly major factors.

After a brief history lesson showing us Tamerlane's battle for the Chalk of Fate, a piece of chalk that can rewrite reality itself, we catch back up with Anton, a year after the rooftop battle that drove his son away. He is still a member of Night Watch, now acting as a mentor to Svetlana, the Other introduced at the end of Night Watch. Despite the obvious feelings between the two, Anton keeps her at arm's length due to both her incredible level of power and his still being torn over his son, Yegor. In turn, Yegor, now a Dark Other, has become very powerful in the short amount of time, and Zavulon has become quite fond of him. On his next birthday, Yegor will become a Great Other, powerful enough to finally overpower Night Watch. Naturally, when Yegor is caught publicly attacking humans, Day Watch is none too happy about it. To defend the young man, they're able to manipulate Anton into saving his son's life by stealing the evidence against him. Still not fully satisfied, Anton is framed for the murder of a human, further distracting Night Watch from Yegor's upcoming power surge as they now have to prove Anton's innocence.

The story here seemed a bit hard to follow. Never reading the book, I'm not sure exactly how those two stories were intertwined, but the result isn't good. What we're given is a plot that is just way too shallow for the amount of ground it attempts to cover, (especially when compared to the first movie) because Day Watch snags all the important bits from the novel without giving them anywhere near enough development. Initially, the name of the movie was going to be Night Watch: The Chalk of Fate, and that's really the way it should have been done. As the first movie proves, each story is more than capable of translating into a feature length, and this would have given the last two stories of Night Watch their due time to shine. Don't get me wrong, that would be twelve movies, and I definitely see the problems inherit in that idea, but I think it would have been better than the cramming done here. At the very least they could have used some more time for the details, three hour movies aren't the most comfortable to watch, but they're not unbearable.

Now, a lot of people, including three of my fellow reviewers on this site, have complained that the pace of Night Watch was too slow and the movie bored the hell out of them. If you happen to share this opinion, you'd do well to stay away from this one, as Day Watch follows the same formula. Hell, I thought the first movie was damned near perfect, and even I thought this one dragged in spots.

Now, somehow in their dealings to get the U.S. distribution rights, Fox snagged the rights to make the third and final movie, assumedly as either Twilight Watch or Final Watch, although it's going by the working title Dusk Watch. How in the world they pulled that off, I have no clue, but obviously I have very low hopes for this forthcoming movie. First of all, the Russian way of doing things and the American way of doing things are polar opposites. Russians are very dry, more about subtlety; while America's are stuck on their "Bigger is better" kick. It'll completely change the entire feel of the series. And not only that, but apparently Fox is completely recasting with American actors. Changing actors is a huge pet peeve of mine, so right off the bat I've got some marks against it. I think after the deal was made, the original filmmakers realized it was gonna be a disaster, so they capped off Day Watch with a fairly conclusive ending. It's still got a healthy ambiguity aspect to it, so a sequel can easily build off of it, but it can also serve nicely as a wrap-up to the series so we can pretend this third movie doesn't exist if we have to.

Overall, if you're a fan of Night Watch, you'll most likely enjoy this one as well. Of course, we apply the normal rule of sequels not living up to their originals, the plot cramming, and I think a 7/10 will do it. Even so, I wouldn't get your hopes too high for the next sequel.
waxtadpole3657 #1: waxtadpole3657 - added 11/20/2007, 02:51 PM
I'm pretty interested in seeing this (the trailer looked badass), but I just could not for the life of me get through Night Watch (I actually fell asleep at one point). And that's probably a bad thing if I want to see this one.
danimigra #2: danimigra - added 03/15/2008, 06:34 PM
is super good.. this movie.... is not from hollywood... ok...
but is a kik ass movie so far....
Lucid Dreams #3: Lucid Dreams - added 08/07/2009, 01:55 AM
8/10 I liked this one more then the first, which doesn't happen to often.
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