On the Big Board
|Stylish and a solid setup for the trilogy.
|Splendid concept gets a bit lost in translation at times, The storyline's resolution is particularly satisfying, though.
Based on a the first in a trilogy of science fiction novels by Sergei Lukyanenko, Night Watch, aka Nochnoi Dozor, is the highest grossing film in Russian history, even beating out such stuff as the Lord of the Rings films, Spider-Man 2 and The Matrix. An important landmark in Russian cinema, the film was seen by 1.5 million people in its first week of release in its home country.
Now, that film will see release on North American shores thanks to Fox Searchlight, and it is already generating eardrum-shattering buzz. Although ostensibly a story about lycanthropes and vampires in Moscow, the movie's real focus is the co-existence and balance between the forces of good and evil.
Two rival groups of supernatural beings, known as "Others" have managed to live side-by-side in peace for more than a thousand years thanks to a document called "The Truce". This treaty created two forces - the "Night Watch" and the "Day Watch", and their assigned duties involve nothing more than policing and keeping a close eye on the other side. Not only has this resulted in harmony between the opposing forces, but humanity has been safe as well.
The terms of "The Truce" are such that several rules have been created, and as long as they are followed, the uneasy peace will remain. No one is allowed to practice magic in public, and it is illegal to conspire to kill either a human or an "Other". Naturally, the truce is broken (if Buffy the Vampire Slayer taught us nothing else, it's that supernatural creatures can't adhere to rules), and the old rivalries and hatred are on the very verge of diverging into a cataclysmic war between the factions. Humankind will be caught in the crossfire. Making matters even worse is an age-old prophecy that portends the coming of "The Great Other". Which side this "Other" chooses will heavily influence the outcome of the great battle.
Although the movie is the first installment of a trilogy, reviews have noted that it easily stands on its own. Look for Night Watch to be a film that gets fans of the horror genre very excited as its release date approaches. (Kim Hollis/BOP)
Vital statistics for Night Watch
Konstantin Khabensky, Vladimir Menshov, Aleksei Chadov
Valeri Zolotukhin, Mariya Poroshina, Galina Tyunina, Yuri Kutsenko, Zhanna Friske, Ilya Lagutenko, Viktor Verzhbitsky, Rimma Markova, Mariya Mironova, Aleksei Maklakov, Aleksandr Samojlenko, Anna Slyusaryova
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|Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture