Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Day Watch

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
3 out of 10
Extras Rating:
6 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: R

Starring:
Konstantin Khabensky as Anton
Mariya Poroshina as Svetlana
Vladimir Menshov as Geser
Galina Tyunina as Olga
Viktor Verzhbitsky as Zavulon
Zhanna Friske as Alisa
Dmitry Martynov as Yegor
Valeri Zolotukhin as Kostya's Father
Aleksei Chadov as Kostya
Nurzhuman Ikhtymbayev as Zoar
Aleksei Maklakov as Semyon
Aleksandr Samojlenko as Bear
Yuri Kutsenko as Ignat
Irina Yakovleva as Galina Rogova
Yegor Dronov as Tolik

Special Features:
The Making of Day Watch Featurette
Commentary by Timur Bekmambetov
Theatrical Trailer
Russian Trailer
Russian TV Spots
Trailers

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish and Russian Language
Spanish and French Subtitles
Running Time: 146 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

"Only one thing stands between peace and Armageddon: the supernatural agents of Day Watch, who fight to control the armies of light and darkness. When the son of a senior Day Watch officer turns to the darkness, forces beyond the imagination are unleashed and the fate of the world hangs in the balance!

Like 'The Matrix,' 'Day Watch' combines cutting-edge digital effects and mind-blowing action to create a stunningly original world. This Unrated Edition takes you on an even wilder ride with more intense thrills and incredible effects."

"Day Watch" is rated R for violence.

Mini Review:
It always really annoyed me when people would criticize "The Matrix" saying, "I didn't get it. The plot was too confusing." I would always think, "Come on! What is there not to get?" Well, after watching "Day Watch," I think I know what those people felt like.

I never saw the first film in this series, "Night Watch," but I don't think that would have even helped me. I was mostly lost while watching this film. Very little of it actually made sense to me. Yeah, it looked really cool and the special effects were well done, but that's not worth a lot if you don't have a clue what's happening. The problems with "Day Watch" are so numerous it's difficult to choose where to start.

First of all, the rules of this universe are very difficult to figure out. Why can the bad guys drive cars up walls? Why can Anton jump through billboards? Why do the characters seem indestructible at one point but utterly human at other points? Why can the bad guys walk away unhurt when hit by a bus but they are taken completely out of action when they have a motorcycle accident? Why can the good guys switch bodies? It was very hard to follow the logic of this world. Not knowing the boundaries of the character's powers made it extremely difficult to figure out when they were in jeopardy and when they were not.

The other thing I didn't understand was the vampires. Unlike traditional vampires, they walked around in the daylight. And while your typical vampires attack victims and suck their blood out of their necks, these vampires stab needles into victims then suck their life force out from a far distance through…a juice box. Yes, you read that right. A juice box. It makes you look at Capri-Sun in a whole new light, but it doesn't make sense. I also have to admit that I had an extremely hard time telling the good guys from the bad guys – they all looked the same, they had similar powers, and they all seemed to have a similar disregard for the public safety. If the Day Watch are the heroes protecting us, we're really screwed.

There is also somewhat of a cultural barrier while watching this movie. For example, these vampires have no fashion sense. There's nothing cool about them when they dress like Russians. And when the Russian vampires have a birthday party, they play cheesy Russian music, dance around a lot, and drink like…Russians. There's nothing cool or intimidating about them, at least to a Westerner. There are a number of other cultural differences that don't translate well, but you get the idea.

The only cool things about "Day Watch" are the cinematography and the special effects. There are a few cool action scenes that hold up against any big effects movie. A scene where a million little balls fly and destroy the city is pretty cool (though it makes little sense – see the pattern here?). Another scene where a vampire is hit by a bus is pretty impressive, too. And the opening action scene where the heroes venture into "The Gloom" is impressive though equally confusing. I think if this director was given a better script (at least 'better' in the eyes of Western audiences), he could do some really impressive work.

I'd only recommend "Day Watch" if you were a big fan of "Night Watch" or if you're into foreign sci-fi films. Otherwise the trailer for this movie features all the high points you need to see.

The bonus features are rather slim. There's a commentary by Timur Bekmambetov and your standard "The Making of Day Watch" featurette.

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