Night Watch (2004)

by Tom Ingram

Genre Fantasy; Horror
People Sergei Lukyanenko w.; Timur Bekmambetov d.; Konstantin Khabensky; Vladimir Menshov; Valeri Zolotukhin; Maria Poroshina; Galina Tyunina; Ilya Lagutenko; Viktor Verzhbitsky
/10 7

Two supernatural factions struggle to gain control of a “Great One” who will decide which one wins.

I have read the second Night Watch novel by Sergei Lukyanenko. It was all I could get my hands on. If I say that it took some effort to understand how the world of the books was supposed to work, it is only because it is so refreshingly different from everything else that is happening in the genre. His supernatural creatures exist in a post-Soviet bureaucracy of light versus dark. Each “Other” must choose a side and uphold the truce, and all activities (magic, vampire feedings, etc) require licenses and permits. This movie is adapted by Lukyanenko himself.

There are some weird special effects going on. It is interesting to me as a Westerner who never sees this sort of thing in movies, but if it were an American film I probably would have been annoyed at some of it. The acting, even with the language barrier, struck me as very good, and the grungy Moscow made for some nice visuals. The movie is a nice diversion, though, while (what I’ve read of) the books are something much more. I would recommend reading one before watching this.

1h55m; 2004; Colour; Russian language spoken.