Night Watch, the first in a trilogy based on the books by Sergei Lukyanenko, had sold half a million copies before the film came out. About 2.5 million were sold afterwards, now that’s got to say something about the movie. Russia’s first bona-fide sci fi/fantasy hit, Night Watch opens with a flashback to the historical clash between good and evil, manifested in an all out battle on an impossibly high bridge. After heavy casualties by both sides the general of the Light stops the battle and they form a truce. The Dark Warriors go on to become the Day Watch, the next film in the trilogy, and the Warrior of the Light become the Night Watch. It’s you classic good versus evil.
Fast forward to 1992 where we meet Anton Gorodetsky, the main protagonist of the film. He visits a witch to get his wife back, who happens to be pregnant with another mans child or so he thinks. Anton also wants the witch to get rid of the pregnancy to which the witch agrees as long as he agrees that the sin is upon him. The witch makes him drink a concoction of vodka, blood and some other stuff which repulses Anton. He starts flipping out and all over a sudden he sees more people in the room, Night Watchers. This is where Anton learns that he is one of the “Others”. Being an Other is an innate gift, but we learn that the choice of light or dark belongs to each individual.
Flash forward to 1994, we learn that the Dark Ones are potential Vampires and one of the jobs of the Night Watch to issues licenses to them to kill, and to ensure that they maintain the truce. Then we add the element of a new Other, an Other that is greater than all Others, the chosen one. Our main character Anton is hunting down a young boy who they believe is cursed and he meets up with two vampires, a bloody battle ensues and Anton kills a vampire, which causes massive unrest from the Day Watchers. Meanwhile a strange curse seems to be causing havoc and to make matters worse the chosen one has turned up and he’s the 12 year old boy Anton was chasing.
The movie was made on a budget of around 5 million, which is amazing considering it looks like a 100 million dollar movie. Its Violent, bloody, confusing, cool, visually stunning with lots of Fight Club CGI type scene changes. The effects are flawless and are not over-used. A great example is a shot of a screw coming loose and falling from the wing of a 747.
Director Timur Bekmambetov did a great job and the performances are outstanding. The great thing about the characters is that they’re all flawed and you’re not quite too sure who is good and who is bad. This is basically an introduction to a huge battle, which is about to kick off. Night Watch is definitely a movie to watch and it builds you up perfectly for the next two installments