Day Watch

The original novel series is a tetralogy by a Russian sci-fi author; extensive Wikipedia research has revealed that the movies excerpt and adapt a tiny fraction of the content in the four books.

Thus the movie Day Watch concludes the story begun in the movie Night Watch, continuing the same heavily stylised set pieces, the extensive skulduggery and manipulation, and occasional rather bloody action.

This time the characters do many more foolish things, particularly the quixotic Anton, and more forgivably the impulsive Svetlana. We find out more about the pop-idol/Day Watch member Alicia and see how the Yegor has grown, spoiled by the power of the Dark.

The storyline tells a more complete story than the first movie, but feels patchy, with several gaps where you’ll have to substitute your own explanations. The ending is rather unsatisfying at the level of narrative, preferring to addresses the movies’ themes of personal choice and fate rather. Anton remains an unusual protagonist for a high-action-content movie, but manages to bring out another theme: that of the relationship between father and son.

As the sequel to a blockbuster, there are some spectacular sequences of driving across the sides of buildings, vehicles being flung about, and buildings being torn to pieces. Nevertheless there are plenty of comic situations and Olga’s actress does a fantastic job in a number of hilarious scenes.

I found out later that Tamerlane, Geser and Favulon are drawn from historical personages or mythical characters – a nice touch in the original source material.

If you enjoyed Night Watch, I absolutely recommend Day Watch as stylised, urban action-fantasy that succeeds more at the thematic level than the narrative level.

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