Day Watch (Дневной дозор): Anton is torn between the light (a love interest) and dark (his son) when he is framed for a murder that could start the next war between feuding vampire factions. Whereas Night Watch felt like a big-budget action movie Day Watch feels like it’s pulling in about 20 different directions; not simple enough to be mainstream, too vast and ‘out there’ to be an indie, too silly and eclectic to be ‘fantasy’, too grim to be a comedy… even the music baffles as it skips between a grand Mary Poppins-style theatrical score, cheap and tinny Russian nu-metal, and Euro-pop for the duration. Night Watch was also a little bit mental, but if you’re hoping for Day Watch to explain
everything anything think again. Face swapping, body swapping, an apocalyptic yo-yo, magic chalk, two levels of gloom… mix that up with new characters, unexplained and unrelated sub-plots, and general incomprehensible madness – it really tests your patience. The big finale has a lot of distracting slow-motion large-scale havoc and devastation for no reason other than ‘we can afford it’ – which significantly undercut the emotional climax. This isn’t helped by frenetic editing and direction, with lots of hard cuts between contrasting scenes that start and stop with no real warning or reason – a car chase stops for about 10 mins, then cuts straight back to the action. Whereas Night Watch was dazzling and busy enough to distract you from how weird it was, Day Watch really shows the how a visionary director without the budget, runtime, or discipline struggled to fully realise such an ambitious sequel: sure it’s bigger, louder, and more expensive but it’s defining features are that it’s overlong, over-complicated, and yet another round of light vs dark.