In Night Watch, our disheveled protagonist is Anton, an Other with supernatural abilities and a marked disregard for hygiene. Anton discovered he was an Other on the same day he tried to strike a deal with a Dark witch to abort his as yet unborn illegitimate son. Flash forward twelve years, and the millenia-old truce between the Dark and Light Others is on the verge of breaking into Eternal War, thanks largely to that illegitimate son, Yegor, who at the end of Night Watch decides to join up with Zavulon, the King of Darkness. Yegor decided to join the Dark Others after realizing that his supposedly Light father tried to have him voodooed away in the womb. Like most teenagers, Yegor makes his big Dark decision both to spite his dad and screw the rest of the world. Typical. In the midst of Zavulon’s Big Prophetic Machinations, the Light Others stopped a powerful curse from wrecking most of Russia. Turns out the curse was laid out by an undiscovered Other named Svetlana who, depressed and unsure of herself, accidentally cursed herself. It was a mighty powerful curse, too. Puppies dying, power plants exploding, vortexes made of ravens, you get the idea. She really ought to read The Secret.
So, move forward a year, and that brings us to Day Watch. Anton is still a messy chain smoker, pining for the son he knew so briefly before losing him. He’s also falling for Svetlana, now a Light Other. Zavulon’s been busy preparing for Yegor’s thirteenth birthday, and trying to figure out how to break the Truce so that he can get down to the business of destroying the world.
These movies are based on a popular series of Russian sci-fi novels, so the films’ plots, condensed and somewhat warped for accommodation as they are, have gotten a little convoluted. As it turns out, Night Watch wasn’t very specific about there being different types of Others. There are your normal Others, who might be vampires, witches or changelings, and then every century or so you have a Great Other, who is a vastly powerful, potentially immortal, world-shaking testament of ungodly power. So, Yegor might be Zavulon’s Chosen One, who brings about the shattering of the Truce, but then again, the Light Others now have Svetlana, an equally powerful force for good. The first movie gave you the impression that Yegor was The One, but the sequel makes it clear that there are forces out there that can give the little weirdo a run for his money.
Overall it’s really good, with the same distinct visual appeal that made Night Watch such a pleasure to watch. It’s stylish as few movies ever manage to be, and that’s certainly worth the price of a ticket. The Parrot may not be much of a henchman, but I thought he was fun to look at, at least. The movie isn’t as tight as Night Watch, unfortunately, and in places it goes a little too far over the top, be it with a mixture of strobe lights and medieval armor, or a mind bending, body swapping shower scene. Trust me, you’ll know it when you see it.
Given how Day Watch ends, I don’t see how there’s much room for the third film in the trilogy. Then again, it’s sci-fi, and anything can happen. And anything does! If there’s one thing I like about the Watch series, it’s the approach toward magic and the supernatural. Sure, yeah, you can be a shape-shifter or a vampire, but a lot of the Others just seem to have power, enabling them to manipulate objects, minds, and do all sorts of creepy magic. Night Watch and Day Watch are gritty and chaotic, a very different feel from the finely polished gloss of recent American superhero movies.
Alicia’s drive to the Kosmos hotel alone is worth the whole movie.