Sunday, September 23, 2007

Dnevnoy Dozor (Day Watch)

After months and months of waiting, I was finally able to see Day Watch. This is, of course, the sequel to Night Watch (which I just also reviewed) Due to the success of the first movie, Day Watch's budget skyrocketed. It's evident that they put it to good use and didn't waste it. Though it is filled with splashy visual effects (some of which a little cartoony, or video-game like), it is just as much focused on the characters.

For those who haven't seen the first one (though you really cannot watch this one without), the series follows an eternal war between the forces of light and dark. The two reached a truce, agreeing that neither would directly influence the decisions of humans. Two teams, the night watch and the day watch are in place to make sure that each side follows this agreement. The time of the final great war, however, is fast approaching. This is signified by the coming of the great one, Yegor, who will choose sides and lead them to victory.

Day Watch is set several years after Night Watch. Yegor has reached his teenage years, and the dark others are becoming ever more powerful. Anton, the star of the first movie, and an agent in the night watch is Yegor's father. He is struggling trying regain his son, while keeping the dark others in check, and of course- a new love interest. Sveta, one of the supporting characters in the first movie is back as a night watch trainee, and Anton's romantic interest. She is fast becoming a force just as powerful as Yegor, and everyone is preparing for an epic showdown. During all of this, several dark others are mysteriously killed, and Anton is blamed. If found guilty, he faces death.

A lot happens in this movie. There is one curious premise about the chalk of life. This is an all powerful artifact that is able to rewrite history. It's a little outlandish, but barely makes an appearance. It seems that they only included it as a way to write themselves out of a corner, and wrap up a nice neat ending (that was pretty obvious from miles away). The heart of this movie is still Anton, stuck between his son, and protecting the light. By the end, everything comes to a head, and he is forced to confront this conflict directly.

Day Watch was not quite as good as Night Watch, but it was still awful good. Everything about these movies just oozes cool- the 2nd one even more. Day Watch is a little more focused on Anton himself, and his struggles, than on the war as a whole- though it does get pretty epic towards the end. It's crucial that you see Night Watch first.


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