Review: Smithe Calls ‘Nightwatch’ a “Supernatural Drama”

I’ve been hearing both sides of the story- some hate it and some love it, either way Fox Searchlight plans on releasing Nightwatch here in the States on July 29th. The first in this self proclaimed “epic trilogy” focuses on the titular band of superhuman “Others” devoted to protecting the world from dark forces, and an ancient prophecy of a violent war between the two sides that threatens to come true in modern-day Moscow. Read on for a review sent in from a screening here in CA and watch for our official review in the coming months…
Nightwatch: A review of a film that hopefully will see the light of day, By Bob G. Smithe.

So where do I begin. First off to enjoy this film fully one should know a bit about Russian literature and film. That one thing is that Russian literature and film can tend to be a bit slow. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but if you go in expecting Underworld you will be sorely disappointed (although I can’t imagine why). The story follows two factions, the light and the dark, which are engaged in an eternal struggle. A truce is forged and they live in coexistence for centuries, policing each other and handing out punishment when applicable. However things begin to unravel when a vortex appears and threatens to bring about the apocalypse.

This is a very interesting film to watch, but it does have the problem (if you can call it that) of being slow. It’s not a bad slow though, it’s good, especially when you look at the fact that this is setting up two more films. Everything that is said and done in this film fits, the only thing that didn’t were some video game shots that just felt forced. But every piece of exposition helped explain everything that was going on.

I find it impossible to really rate the performances as the entire film is in Russian and honestly since I don’t speak it I can’t really say whether the performances where solid or not, but in my humble opinion they were on par with the best foreign flicks out there. I give Fox a lot of credit for leaving the film in Russian. I hope if they decide to do a dub that they do a competent job and use Russian actors who speak English so it at least fits better.

If you thought this film was going to be full of scares, you might be disappointed, this is more along the lines of supernatural drama. But again, this is the first of three and I would imagine that the action will really get moving in the last two films. There really isn’t any gore, but the effects that are in the film are incredibly well done, there were no bad CG shots that I could see. I thought this was going to be an Underworld knockoff but was very pleasantly surprised with the depth of storyline in the film and anyone with a brain will be able to enjoy a smart supernatural film. The subtitles are done in a very artistic manor and will keep even the most ADD addled mind occupied.

This isn’t a film for the 18 year old girl/guy Scream fan, this is intelligent supernatural fantasy, and will fly over the head of most younger audiences. Overall, if the film hits theaters I defiantly would say to check it out in a theater, and definitely pick up the DVD whenever it hits.

7 out of 10 Skulls

Source: Bob G. Smithe