Night Watch

Year: 2004
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Writer: Timur Bekmambetov
The biggest film ever to come out of Russia and the one that I think will polarise audiences more than any other during 2005. I haven't seen so many people walk out since Magnolia, but I couldn't understand why.

It was a pretty simple story of good vs evil (no different than 95% of movies in the world), and sure a lot of the interest was buoyed by the funky editing and visual/audio trickery, but the story wasn't so bad either.

In ancient times, the forces of darkness and light strike a truce, agreeing that every man and woman born on Earth can choose which side he wants to join. Nowadays, on the streets of Moscow, the armies descended from that war (the Nightwatch and Daywatch) keep a close eye on each other to make sure each adheres to the truce.

The Daywatch are actually vampires, a theme that wasn't explored as much as it could have been, but it follows the hero Anton, a Nightwatch operative who spends his days making emergency calls to breaches of the truce like a garbage man, and who's mindful of the coming of The Virgin, whose arrival will herald the final battle.

It's all very mythological stuff and has been done before, but the editing and photography are rich and distinctive and it's worth seeing if you liked any of the movies that obviously played a part influencing it - some of the biggest movies from the action, adventure and sci fi genres.

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