Night Watch review by The Grim Ringler

Now, before I review this film, I have to say that I am damned impressed by it. Good or bad, its a well-made film. And the thing my friends and I couldnt get past was that this was a Russian film and was this technically accomplished. Not to say that there are not good films being made in Russia I am just not seeing any of them period, so sue me but that this is such a beautifully made film, and one with such great CGI that it was hard to believe that it came from a country that isnt known for films. So three cheers for the crew of filmmakers behind this movie for creating such a great calling card for their nation. Hell, some of our big budget American movies dont look half as good as this. No wonder Night Watch is being imported to our shores this year.

Beginning in a time before time, the armies of the Light and the armies of the Dark reach an armistice. After a brutal battle to decide dominance in which both sides are evenly matched, there comes a treaty that ends the war, at least the open war. This treaty sets it so that the Dark shall not interfere in matters of the Light and vice verse. An order is established. And to guard this order are the Night and Day watch, the balances to keep both sides in check. And so time passes, and the two sides begrudgingly stay out of each others way. But there is the legend of the one, the Other that shall become the most powerful weapon in this war and who can tip the balance of power permanently to one side or the other. And it seems, that this Other has finally been born and is ripe for the picking. This first film Night Watch of a proposed trilogy focuses on the finding of this child, this boy, and the fight to sway him to the side of good or evil. This establishing film ends with a cliffhanger, with a choice, and with a promise of the great war to come.

I wont divulge much more because it starts to get into spoiler territory and since 1. it isnt out yet and 2. it is part of a trilogy, I dont want to ruin anything. Needless to say, its quite a cliffhanger. The hell of it is that I wish the rest of the film were as compelling. Well made it may be but its also a mish-mash of mythos and action that is hard to follow. There is plot here, but too damned much of it. Its a beautiful world that has been created. A dark, gray world of gloom and mystery where monsters, shape-shifters, and vampires lurk, but its hard to understand why. This film is from a novel and it feels like we were thrown into it at page 100. Its a fun film, the action is intense, the characters interesting and well played, and god, the special effects look fantastic. This is a perfect summer horror-action vehicle. Well, would be if it was clearer. And maybe some dubbing will help. Or maybe you need to see parts two and three and then watch the films as a series like the Matrix series before you really get a feel for the greater picture. I just know that my friends and I were confused as hell. And I am worried that this confusion will doom its chances of success in the states.

This is a wonderfully made film, and one that Hollywood needs to look at and feel envious of. This is a film from a country not known for this kind of movie and yet it outdoes some of the very things the big H has been known for. And any knocks against it I have aside, its a damned ambitious story. And an interesting one. I just wish it flowed better. There is a subplot about someone cursing themselves and that curse creating a funnel cloud of crows that will lead to the destruction of the person and all around them, but what is the point? Unless she is in the other films, what is the need? It works more to confuse the audience. As does the influx of character after character so that we forget which side each is fighting for. Its confusing dammit.

Its hard to dislike this film because it has so much going for it. But it was so confusing and frustrating it was also hard to enjoy it fully. I will hope that by the third chapter all will be revealed, but sadly, I am afraid that the first is so confusing that many wont bother with the continuing adventures.
This film will hit American theaters this summer. Watch for it.


6 out of 10 Jackasses
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