Day Watch Timur Bekmambetov

Day Watch Timur Bekmambetov
Those who suffered through the Russian travesty known as Night Watch are familiar with this sequel’s ludicrous bombast and soulless digitalia. The first movie didn’t make any sense and neither does this one.

Picking up after vampire policeman Anton (Konstantin Khabensky) loses his "great other” son to the dark side, we finds him hunting baddies with "great other” Olga (Galina Tyunina) and gradually falling in love. But that’s the least of his worries when everybody starts clamouring for "the chalk of fate,” which creates whatever its owner writes and thus grants immense power to its users. Things get a trifle complicated after that, what with people driving along the sides of buildings, the gender-swapping by the heroes and the most bizarre party ever recorded on film, but though the movie gets nuttier by the minute it doesn’t once grab a hold of your sensibilities.

Leaning heavily on a CGI arsenal that pounds you into submission with empty calorie images, it tosses narrative coherence by the wayside in a constant attempt to one-up every crazed picture they throw out. And while I’m normally predisposed towards films that emphasise mad imagery, the movie is so clearly a commercial enterprise that the insanity seems mechanical and ugly, far from the "lighter than air” thrills advertised. After a while I was saying "so what?” to a movie that was doggedly, tediously trying to top itself every five minutes while failing miserably.

Though it picks up slightly at its apocalyptic finale, which nearly levels Moscow in highly creative ways, it’s still a movie I wish ended an hour earlier and had a better screenplay. Undiscerning goths are advised to queue up early, all others are advised to steer well clear. (Fox Searchlight)