Nightwatch Review

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Plot:A prophecized battle between creatures representing the sides of both good and evil, threatens to come true in modern day moscow.

Cast: Konstantin Khabensky, Vladimir Menshov, Valeri Zolotukhin, Mariya Poroshina, Galina Tyunina, Yuri Kutsenko, Aleksei Chadov, Zhanna Friske, Ilya Lagutenko.

My Thoughts:Dull...very dull.

Review: With all of the positive talk and hype surrounding "Nightwatch", the russian fantasy/horror film, you would think the movie would've atleast had some redeeming qualities even to a person who didn't like it as much as the next guy might would've. But with the U.S. release of "Nightwatch" kicking off today, I feel great pity for anyone who spends even one red cent of their hard earned money on this film. Luckily for me, I managed to catch it at a free advanced screening on the 16th, and I have to say while I was very very disappointed with the film, atleast I didn't have to buy a ticket, oh and then theres that cool "Nightwatch" mouse pad I got after turning in my questionaire. Now you know if I'm mentioning the frikkin mouse pad I got as the highlight of this experience, then the movie must've been really bad. "Nightwatch" involves a vampire named Anton, who works for side of good, otherwise known as the side of "Light". Long ago, a battle was waged between the forces of light and darkness for the souls of mankind. Eventually a truce was struck, and both sides agreed that neither side could act upon a human without the human in question first choosing which side they wanted to be on. However, the side of Light acted as a sort of police force, policing the side of darkness who use all sorts of tricks and temptations to nudge humans to the side of darkness. Whenever a dark one did this, they were cited by the side of light for breaking the truce. The vampire Anton is a major player on the side of light, but heres where the film makes it's first of many mistakes. Anton Gorodetsky is a clumsy, and pretty lame version of a supposed hero. Think Inspector Gadget, just with fangs, not as goofy, and without the trenchcoat and gadgets. There simply is nothing likeable about Konstantin Khabensky's character of Anton. In movies like this, the hero has to have some ora of coolness, something that makes him or her likeable to the viewer. This element is sorely lacking with Khabensky's character. He comes off as dull, boring, lacking of charisma, all of the qualities that the hero and star of the movie should not have. Another problem is that the film does nothing to help it's bland star because the screenplay itself is lacking passion and intensity. The action scenes are few and far between, and when some action finally takes place on screen, it's done to the tune of rock music which is more intense than the scene itself! I kid you not, the music used for most of the action scenes carries more electricity than whats being played out on-screen. The story of the film has Anton coming across a woman who is supposed to signal the final battle between light and darkness. This womans appearance coincides with the existence of a very powerful "other" who will tip the scales in this battle depending upon which side they join. "Nightwatch" boasts an excellent idea for a story but the film which is directed well, is written with no charisma or excitement. I was in awe at how such a fantastic idea could have been turned into such boring 2 hour cinema. I think if you would've put this film into the hands of a James Cameron or maybe Clive Barker, you would've gotten better results. The dark visuals were very well done, particularly near the end of the film, and there were some nice fx scenes like for example when Olga, one of Antons allies shapeshifts from her Owl form into her human form, and when the main baddie of the film pulls a sword out of his spinal column, but all of these things are minor silver linings in a very dull and uninteresting cloud. A story like this should make you want to know whats going to happen, want to know whats going on, want to know the background of all the characters good and bad, and what roles they will end up playing in this age old battle. But "Nightwatch" fails to make any of that possible due to a poorly written screenplay. I would only advise seeing this movie if you're curious or have been curious about if for awhile now, or just enjoy cool visual fx. If you just like to hit the cinemas on a Friday or Saturday night for some excitement, this is one movie you will want to pass on. About the only thing I really liked about this movie besides the visuals were the special fx and the creature fx. This russian horror film proves not everyone needs to resort to cgi to bring on screen monsters and various other creatures to life. The ending shows off how smartly written the script was from an intricacy point of view, as far as how events transpire at the end between Anton, Zavulon, and a few other major players - and how they can be traced back to the beginning. But that show of smart writing still doesn't make up for the lack of anything interesting that happens in most of "Nightwatch".

Pros:Great visual fx, nice creature fx, good idea for a story.

Cons:Dull screenplay which literally sucks the life out of such a great idea for a film. Lack of action, and overall intesity. Also Antons comrades Tiger and Bear were pretty intriguing characters and it might would've made the film a bit better if they had spent more time on screen.

Overall:Might wanna wait for dvd with this one folks.

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