Saturday, 31 December 2011

31/12/2011: Night Watch (Nochnoy Dozor) [2004]

Rewatched one of my favourites, the Russian blockbuster Night Watch. What makes this movie unique is that it is Russia's attempt at making a big budget blockbuster movie to rival Hollywood's. In my opinion it has more than succeeded.

Night Watch is an adaption of the first in a bestselling series of Russian books, and creates a new fantasy world of Dark and Light others. The plotline is standard for a storyline derived from a book, it builds the world as best it can but is still missing a few pieces. However the world it does build is great, mixing many great elements to create a great fantasy version of modern Moscow where supernatural forces due battle.
Night Watch combines the action sequences, and budget of a Hollywood blockbuster with the essence of the Russian books and culture. While some things become a little muddled in translation, the movie is meant to have some mystery to it normally. The only place it feels awkward is in the emotion of the english voice over which doesn't always match what I imagine the characters would be experiencing.

However the utterly unique special effects are quite something and the Moscow setting is another. Not high end tourism area's but everyday average Russia, filled with dingy apartments and colourful streets. The costumes are also intriguing and the cast is fitting, not filled with celebrities.
I'm not exactly sure why I find Night Watch and its sequel Day Watch to be some of my favourite films, but it has largely to do with the fantasy world in which the movies takes place. I have all the books and will be reading them soon, my only disappointment is there is little hope for the third movie at this point.


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