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Category:    Home > Reviews > Fantasy > Horror > Russia > Night Watch (Russia/Fantasy-Horror)

Night Watch (Russia/Fox)


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C+     Film: C



20th Century Fox was hoping that Timur Bekmambetov’s Night Watch films would be an import trilogy that would have a big fan base.  Instead, it has not even received a cult following.  Though genre fans (like Quentin Tarantino, quoted prominently on the back of the DVD case) are embracing the film, the lightness/darkness battle and title force “policing” the “Dark Others” grouping together witches, vampires and shape shifters.  Even in Russian clothing and voice, it eventually is all been there, done that.


Despite the violence and production values, the whole production is overblown and attempts to artificially pump up excitement never gel.  All this cannot paper over the oversimplicity of the Fantasy genre elements and though the cast of actors and stunt people are no slackers, this is an acquired taste at best and will never find more than a cult following outside of Russia.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image has bad digital work throughout, sloppy editing and is the same old thing we have seen over and over again visually.  To its credit, it tries to emulate Russian and Soviet cinema of the past, but this is in vein.  You get a different version on each side of the DVD.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes in English and Russian are better than the Dolby 2.0 Pro Logic Spanish and French tracks, but not by much.  The sound design has some character, but it is nothing exceptional either.  Sometimes, the surrounds seem to be a substitute for storytelling.  Extras include sequel previews, subtitled audio commentary and an extended ending.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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