(2006) dir. Timur Bekmambetov
I did note after watching Night Watch (2004), that despite not being overly impressed with it that I would probably see its sequel. Well, true to my word, I did. And I don’t completely regret it. In fact, I kind of liked it more than the first one.
Day Watch, as its known in the U.S., is the follow up to the Russian supernatural science fiction action adventure film, and the highest-grossing film in post-Communist Russia. It’s a special effects film, with lots of CGI, and I compared its predecessor to Blade (1998) and its follow-ups, lower-level B-movie sci-fi action adventure films with vampires and mythologies and cult followings. And that’s an apt comparison for the American viewer. Though it may have some connection to Russian mythos and is adapted from a popular Russian novel, it’s not really a whole lot more than lots of arch-sillyness, and crazy camera shots.
Still, I kind of enjoyed it. More than I did the first one. It might be timing. Maybe I am more in the mood for something like this than I was the original. I thought it was supposed to be a trilogy, though this film does feel like it has closure. I don’t know. I am not up on Russian popular cinema and only know when this stuff emerges here.
Some of the mythos seem to tie into issues about regionalist folklore, regional character, and perhaps some aspect of social commentary. This is pure speculation. But starting in Iran with Asian warlords and following through in Uzbekistan, and a couple of asides at countryfolk versus city folk, I sense something going on. I don’t know enough to estimate that.
I won’t prolong this other than to say that as a B-movie, even if it’s a Russian A-movie, it’s not the worst thing I’ve seen. It’d been a couple years since I saw Night Watch, so I didn’t recall much of the core narrative and spent quite a bit of the time a bit lost with the details…well, that didn’t bother me, really. I spend a lot of time confused.