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Day Watch

2007-10-29 17:49
What it's about:

In this sequel to 2004's Night Watch, the forces of evil or "dark others" now have the upper hand against the virtuous "light others" who are charged with policing them and protecting us humans from their influence. They have found their "Great Other", Yegor (Dmitry Martynov), the estranged son of our unwilling hero Anton (Konstantin Khabensky). But the light others may have found their own great one, Svetlana (Mariya Poroshina), who is secretly in love with Anton. He has other things on his mind though – like finding the mythical Chalk of Fate to put the world right again.

What we thought of it:

Listen up action fans: the idea of seeing a film with subtitles might sound as fun as a visit to a wallpaper factory, but if you skip Day Watch you'll miss one of the freshest action-horror-fantasy extravaganzas to hit the circuit in years. With shape shifters, vampires, rocket powered trucks and ancient prophecies it's like Blade meets The Matrix in Moscow after a hard night of drinking vodka.

Sure, it tries a bit too hard to outdo its groundbreaking predecessor, throwing more crazy action sequences and subplots at us then we can handle, but when it's in full stride the excitement is irresistible.

Still, for all its raw energy and imagination, Day Watch is lumpy, unpolished stuff. The first film was puzzling at times, but you could put that down to inexact translation or culture gaps. But in the sequel we're frequently, sometimes completely, lost. The plot careens around wildly, as do the cast. It's all very impenetrable and Russian, but that's also a large part of the charm.

So while it may not live up to its revolutionary predecessor, Day Watch is still a must see for discerning action and fantasy fans. Its sprawling, shabby charms speak of a brave new post-Soviet Russia – full of devil-may-care vitality and global ambition. Who knows, this may be the birth of a new force in world cinema. God knows we could use one.

- Alistair Fairweather
The Russians are coming – and they've brought the best action-fantasy-horror film of the year with them. Vodka for everyone!

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