Imperfections are hidden in darkness–and people always have their imperfections.
Day Watch (Dnevnoy dozor (2006)) is the second film in the highly successful Russian Watch film trilogy. As with many sequels, nothing beats the original movie; however, Day Watch is an improvement of the first film–perfected with a sharp story line, and of course, more action. Konstantin Khabensky reprises his role as Anton Gorodetsky, a member of the Night Watch.
One year after the events in the first film, the Light and Dark Ones can barely keep right to the thousand-year-old treaty, in place to maintain the peace between both factions. However, Zavulon (Viktor Verzhbitsky) and the Dark Ones are waiting for Yegor’s (Dmitriy Martynov) (Anton’s son from the first film) birthday so that he may harness the full power of being a Great One–he wants to tip the balance of energies in favor of the Dark Ones. Anton is too busy cleaning up the bodies his son Yegor is leaving behind and at the same time, training newly recruited Sveltana (Mariya Poroshina), his girlfriend, for Night Watch duties. Eventually, he senses that all is not well and find himself on the path of retrieving the Chalk of Fate to rewrite history and prevent the end of the world.
Despite the horror aspect being toned down from the first film, Day Watch makes up for it engagingly. The action is more extraordinary–the characters have fantastic chemistry. The CG special effects are upgraded from before and can rival a few of those massively budgeted Hollywood productions. Some scenes have almost a dreamlike quality to them, notably those involving the delightfully flamboyant Alisa (Zhanna Friske)–Zavulon’s lover–and her sporty red car.
Also, the film does not feel rushed this time, and Night Watch it does have its downsides. There are a few unnecessary characters used, and there is a huge story shift near the end that was highly unexpected (revealing the location of Chalk) and a little disappointing. The trademarked subtitles appear once more in this film and with greater emphasis. The humor is even better this time around. More of Anton’s character personality as the over cautious anti-hero–he is just a guy trying to deal with his past demons and make amends with his son. I enjoyed some of the female lead characters can handle their own just like their male counterparts.
Overall, I recommended checking out Night Watch before Day Watch to get an idea for the storyline if you haven’t read the books. Both are immensely entertaining films regardless of their flaws.