Day Watch or Dnevnoy dorz is the second in an “epic” trilogy. Day Watch left me spending most of my day looking at my watch.
I sat through this movie, having not seen Night Watch, completely lost. I honestly had little idea what was going on. Here was the best I could get from the movie. Some guy, Anton (Konstantin Khabensky), has a trainee and a flashlight. They run around avoiding mosquitoes and try not to slip into another dimension or level of some kind. He realizes his son is actually a super dark force, his trainee Svetlana (Mariya Poroshina) a super light force and if they ever were to meet, it may be the end of the world. He tries to obtain the Chalk of Destiny (Why chalk, I do not know) so he can go back in time and make everything right. The leader of the darkies frames him for murder of another vampire or dark person. There is something about a trial, a yo-yo and a very big Ferris Wheel.
There is a recap at the beginning of the movie that is only to remind those people who have already seen the previous movie, not to inform those of us who haven’t. It whizzes past things in rocket speed with nary an explanation to enlighten us newbies. I was paying unnaturally close attention because I hadn’t seen the first movie and I was painfully lost from the word go.
Day Watch felt like a two and a quarter hour, cheap knock off of a La Femme Nikita episode, in Russian. Both have secret agencies whose motives are never clear, background stories that occasionally ooze out, and actors who can’t do anything other than Ben Stein impressions. La Femme Nikita doesn’t last two and a quarter hours.
Mariya Poroshina who plays trainee Svetlana looks just like a younger Kim Cattrall. She is beautiful and never gets dirty. Beautiful is the best I could say about her. She is essentially the pretty object in the movie. She killed, and skinned Cookie Monster and wore him through most of the movie. We are supposed to believe she is madly in love with Anton but her emotions run as deep as the dry creek in my back pasture. She couldn’t well up with emotion if her father was set on fire in front of her. Passionless expression is practically epidemic in Day Watch.
Konstantin Khabensky’s performance is equally uninspired. When he sees his son or confesses his love for a woman, there are no sparks. His vacant eyes make him look like he has had his soul sucked out by one of the dark side people in the movie. By the end of the movie I wanted the vampires to eat him.
This movie is beautiful looking, though. Director Timur Bekmambetov knew what he was doing when he hired Sergei Trofimov as the cinematographer. The gritty and dank look gives the audience a nearly hopeless feeling. The use of lighting in the movie is outstanding to accentuate the point the script is trying to make at the time. It isn’t until the end that the visuals of the movie were enough to overcome the weaknesses of the plot and give the film a redeemed quality. It finally becomes a visual splendor, not just an enjoyable watch. You should shut off the sound and just watch the story unfold, for about ten minutes. For those ten minutes, it is a wonderful movie.
For a movie that is supposed to tell the story of an epic battle between light and dark, good and evil, it has no feeling of grandeur. An epic battle doesn’t usually use intra-species law to start a war. Evil things are evil, so they would just start a war to be evil. The administrative bull in the plot makes it as scary as DMV administration.
Day Watch…no thank you.