Imagine a movie that combines “Fast and the Furious” with “Underworld” and “Constantine.” Got that in mind? Good, now set it Russia were supernatural creatures are either good or evil and the two factions are duking it out for control over future. That is Night Watch.
Action, Fantasy, Thriller
In the world of Night Watch, set in modern day Moscow, supernatural creatures are real. Vampires, shape-shifters, and witches are all a part of life and they break into two factions, the light warriors and the dark warriors. Hundreds of years ago the two sides fought for command of the world and after discovering that they were too evenly matched they struck a truce. Now the two sides are kept in check by the Night Watch and the Day Watch. Our leading male character. Anton Gorodetsky [played by Konstantin Khabensky], is a sad, broken man. One who made a terrible choice in his youth that not only haunts him to this day, but caused him to work for the Night Watch. A routine patrol spins him into the center of a prophecy that may break the balance the truce had tenuously created.
This film went from being a manically-paced, car crashing, blood-drinking chaotic and wild ride into a slower more character-driven piece before ramping up again and crashing into the end.
I won’t say it was a great film, but I was thoroughly entertained. The special effects were mind-blowingly realistic. There’s one scene in particular where Anton’s boss is doing to emergency patching up where there’s a massive gaping wound in Anton’s chest. He’s heaving in and out, sweat is dribbling down his skin and then the boss shoves his hand straight into the wound and starts routing around. I literally yelled out “Holy S**t! That’s a fake chest?! Normally I’m pretty good at spotting the prosthetics, but that one had me entirely fooled until the hand went impossibly in. And there were moments like that sprinkled througout the film that made the absurd gore look incredibly realistic. The CGI on the other hand was far from seemless. However, It took those moments that were way too over-the-top for practical effects and rocketed them into another galaxy.
The whole thing felt a rushed and it’s flashbacks tended to jarring, but it did still manage to take the time to build Anton’s character enough that by the time the big finale came around you were invested in what was happening to them. I am glad that there is a second movie, because without it the ending would have been too open to make the rest of the film worth-while.
I’m giving Night Watch – 4 out of 5 blood spattered stars. It was occasionally hard to follow but it was an entertaining supernatural action film, that created a very interesting world and overwhelms you with special effects. I’ll probably end up watching this one again when I’m in the mood for something flashy and fun.
Night Watch is currently available on Netflix or you can rent/purchase it on Amazon or iTunes.