Reviews & Counting
# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Day Watch(2007)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Timur Bekmambetov

Konstantin Khabensky/Anton
Mariya Poroshina/Svetlana
Zhanna Friske/Alisa
Viktor Verzhbitsky/Zavulon
7 10
Anton’s (Khabensky) life didn’t get much easier after the finale of Night Watch. Not only is he still trying to save his son from the clutches of the Dark Ones but he also finds himself in the middle of a murder conspiracy, one that he’s being framed for. Body hopping, a car that rides on the side of a building and a slew of crazy ass visuals ensue.

 Taxi Driver: Where to?
Svetlana: Anywhere.

The Russian movie NIGHT WATCH was a big deal in its native land which eventually translated to a moderate deal in America as FOX acquired it for a limited Theatrical release. Having loved the original, I was jones-ing for the sequel and sure enough it got released in Russia early this year, with zero to no fanfare here. I didn't  hear shite! Even the posters and the stills available online aren’t all that! I found that odd, especially after the splash the first one did. Now that I’ve seen the flick, I know why.

In a brave move DAY WATCH didn’t run down the “more mass appeal” racetrack after the international success of the original. Total opposite, it sprinted the other way with big bulldog balls flapping in the wind, said f*ck that shite" and whole heartily embraced its Russian "make". And you know what Tonto? I loved it for it! From this Canuck's point of view, witnessing Russian humor and demeanor played up with no filters made this watch even more fascinating. I haven’t seen too many Russian films  (Unless Ruskie Lesbos counts) or Russian themed stuff (Apart from Rocky 4...he he he) in my lifetime so this particular vibe was new to me and I found it charming. Made me want to visit that damn place!

Now that’s not to say that the film didn’t sport the magic "Blockbuster" ingredients that made the original such a wild ride. Insane stunt set pieces in the house? You bet! Wait till you see that 14th century set opening where horses rammed through brick walls or that gal driving her car on the side of a building bit! Yup you heard me... ON THE SIDE of a building! FREAKING NUTS! Innovation was also on the menu when it came to the unique ways the film handled its endless fantastic elements (the mask of snow…nice). What do Russians drink to come up with this zany stuff? POUR ME A GLASS ALREADY! And the same can be spat about the slew of “out there” vehicle chases, huge demolition bits, wild fight sequences and novel moments of mass murders. They were all curved-ball in my face with a distinctive, uber stylish, razor edited, and highly intoxicating attitude. I gotta hand it to director Timur Bekmambetov, he makes the Warchowskies look like their asleep at the tricycle in terms of kinetic imagery. I for one haven’t seen a flick this visually ambitious, energetic and innovative in a while. WOW!

Story/character wise, the flick kept to the same MO as the original. Multitude of characters, main plotline, mucho subplots, a potent mystery and one heck of a finale. As opposed to Night Watch, I didn’t find it too hard to follow the story of this one. Don’t blink though because major plot details/turns were at times revealed in the blink of a pre-mature ejaculation. The shift in tone from the first one was also appreciated by this dink. Where Night Watch was mostly set in bleakness, this was one took place mostly in the day (I guess that’s why they called it Day Watch) and was a pinch more offbeat. That tagged with the ample circumstantial comedy (body swapping bit owned) and the affecting/cute love story gave the whole a kool “quirky and fun” aura that the first one didn’t have. Darkness did eventually fall again though, starting with the gripping main plot line of Anton’s quest to save his son (who himself was straight out of Damien School…creepy kid…creepier yo-yo) while finishing off with one heck of a schizophrenic last block! Funny, somber, gory, insane, sad yet happy, this one shut the lights with a powerful uppercut that sent me straight to the mat.

On the slim meh side of things, although easier to grasp that its predecessor. I still had to shift my one brain cell into overdrive to connect the dots. You definitely have to pay attention here as the unraveling of the narrative is fairly unorthodox...well for this Westerner anyways. And yes the film sometimes handled its plot turns in a rushed manner, hence preventing me from blinking, scratching my nose or getting up to take a whiz. But all in all, color me f*cking impressed by this tight, eye popping and one of a kind follow up! Now THIS... is filmmaking!
The flick wasn’t overly gory but when it kicked in the ketchup, it did it hard. We get cut off feet, cut off fingers, head bashing, projectiles through the noggin and more!
Konstantin Khabensky (Anton) did it again via mucho brooding, tight comic timing and an appealing presence. Mariya Poroshina (Svetlana) had more meat to play with this time around (no pun intended). She was likeable, cute and played off Khabensky perfectly. Zhanna Friske’s (Alisa) charismatic, confident and damn sexy show had me by Jockeys’ elastic. I’d tap that hard! Viktor Verzhbitsky (Zavulon) once again made for a captivating and amusing villain.
T & A
Mariya Poroshina (Svetlana) nude in the shower with arms and legs strategically placed for us to not see shite was semi arousing. But cleavage heavy, sexually confident and boner inducing Zhanna Friske, wow…what a delight!
Timur Bekmambetov didn’t wind down since the last film. I’m talking; fast/slow motion abusing, use of still frames, an “all over the place camera” and editing that would dazzle a coke addict. The man was on fire!
We get a moving piano inclined score, some sweet heavy metal and some groovy Russian ditties.
Day Watch beat out Night Watch by an inch via being a funnier and more coherent ride while still double downing on the bleak stuff. The film was highly un-predictable, totally freaking off the wall, imaginative beyond belief, brash in its ideas & action scenes while sporting a strong yummy Russian flavor to it all. Props to all for not going “all American” with this follow up and sticking to their roots; it made it all that much captivating for this jerk.

Granted its not for everybody, if you don’t dig on foreign films or are easily confused, this one might leave you in the dust begging for mommy to change your Hershey soiled diaper. But if you’re feeling for something unusual that at the same time gives you depth, outlandish actions scenes, neato concepts and a full plate of visual/audio candy; then you hit the right watch. 

Day Watch is the first post-communist Russian flick to do more than $30 million clams at the box office.