Friday, August 31, 2007

Nightwatch Review


(Nochnoy Dozor)

Directed By Timur Bekmambetov 2004

When you realize that you have, for all intents and purposes, seen each and every Good versus Evil/Vampire/Light versus Dark movie that there is to see, along comes a gust of refreshing wind from the quite frigid east. Directed and filmed in Russia, NIGHTWATCH is a wonderful and exciting ride revolving around a story that may seem convoluted and arbitrary at first, but boils over into an astounding and thrilling ride with a conclusion you may never see coming.

Anton Grodetsky is as silly a man as one can be early on. He has taken on the magical wisdom and advice of a local “witch” who has, in her own voodoo, over-the-top way, guaranteed our hero a life without a child. How, you ask? Well, obviously, with an abortion spell that will render his vacationing girl friend without child from hundreds of miles away. All she has to do is combine a few drops of blood with this and that, make Anton swallow it, and then cast her spell culminating in the final handclap that will do the dirty deed. But there are those who would prefer that she mind her own business, and those people are the NIGHTWATCH. And so begins a wending, twisting trail through a world so entrenched in darkness that those in the real world have no idea it even exists.

Thousands of years ago a massive, enormous battle between the forces of good and evil was fought non stop for what seemed an eternity. When finally the leaders of both sides decided to create a truce, two sides were formed: The DAYWATCH, who were on the side of evil and do nothing but keep sly eyes on the good side, also known as The NIGHTWATCH; the good side whose very lives revolve around maintaining peace between the evil. The peace accord seemed flawless and those who habitually fell out of line (vampires and those confined to the Gloom) were policed and or killed to uphold the balance. But then, the chosen was born. In the vain of the recent STAR WARS trilogy, the one who would ultimately take control over one side or the other was born. Now it is up to Anton and a few select members of the Light Side to find this child, end an evil vortex forming over the city of Moscow due to an evil curse, and persuade the Chosen to join the side of good before it is too late. Without ruining the ending (a nice surprise to say the least) I will say that the story continues. In fact, those in the know will be reminded that DAYWATCH has been released in select cities as of this writing. This film is the sequel and you can check trailers on line to see just how amazing a movie like this can become.

If you liked BLADE, if you like 300, if you like VAN HELSING (and let’s face it, there is not a more fitting guilty pleasure movie that that), then you will more than appreciate this sprawling masterpiece. And heck, if all you want to see is the Evil Zavulon slide his own spine from his back as a weapon (and who in their right mind wouldn’t) it is well worth your time to check it out. It is dubbed in English, but it does little to deter from the story. Who knew Russian film could be this intense.

Stew Miller

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