Day Watch (2006)

The sequel to Night Watch, Day Watch is slightly more convoluted and slightly less fun. It also tries to build up an even more epic background, something which already did not work well for Night Watch. Even though it is 15 minutes longer, Day Watch is still too short to fit in all the ideas director Timur Bekmambetov is trying to cram into it. Consequently, plot and character motivations are confusing, even more confusing than in Night Watch.

Continuing from Night Watch, Day Watch sees the protagonist continue his journey of guilt and atonement – not to the film’s benefit. The film just focuses too much on the protagonist’s soul-searching, and hence is often in danger of being too much in love with itself. Add to that a strange and unfunny body-swap sequence that lasts too long for comfort, and you have a bit of a mess on your hands. But it is an action-packed, good-looking mess, just like its predecessor.

 

Like Night Watch, this film was made by a small budget (by Hollywood standards) without showing it. Acting, directing, music, camera – everything is basically as professional as it was in Night Watch. But there is at least one action scene with a very questionable (and flat) dramaturgy; and the Hotel Kosmos scenes are way too long and meandering (a consequence of the film being in love with itself), so that you have to question some of the decisions of the writers and the editor.

 

Night Watch may have given one the impression that the vampirism in the film is little more than window dressing. In Day Watch it is pushed even more into the background. So this is not really a vampire film at all.

 

I would rate this film a 6.0 out of 10 (imdb’s current rating is 6.5). No need for me to try to encourage or discourage anyone: if you enjoyed Night Watch, seeing Day Watch is your next logical step; if you did not like Night Watch, then why on earth would you want to see Day Watch?

Again, the exception: if you are interested in film making and are curious what can be achieved on a smallish budget, then maybe this one is worth a watch, just like its predecessor.

 

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