Following the success of Night Watch (which made $US34 million on a $US4.2 million production budget), it was inevitable that there would be a sequel, and the cast and crew have all returned to this second movie. With a similar budget hopes were high that this would also prove to be a success.
Day Watch (Dnevnoi Dozor) is the second installment of a trilogy based on the best-selling sci-fi novels of Sergei Lukyanenko entitled Night Watch, Day Watch and Dusk Watch. The films centre on the modern day conflict between the Light and Dark forces of “Others” - supernatural humans and monsters (including vampires, witches, shape-shifters and sorcerers) who live among us. A thousand years ago the two sides called a truce to their fierce battles; the agreement entailed that the Dark Others would police the day…and the Light Others would police the night.
In Day Watch each side has gained a powerful Great Other; Anton Gorodetsky’s son, Yegor, has joined the ranks of the Dark Others, while Anton’s love, Svetlana, is the hope of the Light. Not only is Anton caught between them, but he’s also accused of murder and on the run. Only the ancient Chalk of Fate can save the day – but it was lost hundreds of years ago...
As with the first movie, and very disappointingly, this movies release on Blu-Ray (as with the DVD release) lacks the uniquely animated subtitles. These have been replaced with standard overlaid text in this version lessening the cinematic appeal and experience.
While this is the superior movie in our opinion we do recommend you check out the original Night Watch first. In fact, that's almost a requirement as newcomers may find themselves quite lost by the themes and plotlines in this sequel without the original.
While the original movie was presented in the aspect ratio of 1.85:1 this sequel see the aspect ratio shift to a wider 2.35:1, but it still uses the AVC MPEG-4 codec. The image is fairly good, a notch above the original in many regards, but probably due to improved filming techniques rather then improved compression techniques. There are some scenes which still exhibit some dirt, as well as some grain. Some scenes also appear a little softer then we expect from film these days. One must remember though that the budget on this movie was $US4.2 million, which is less then many made for TV pictures in the West.
We've already discussed our disappointments with the subtitles provided on this release in the main part of this review - that being the original burnt in stylish subtitles are missing. Subtitle tracks include English, English for the Hearing Impaired, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish.
Russian Trailer F (39:03): A lengthy and fairly impressive look at the making of Night Watch. Much of this documentary is in Russian with subtitles, but there is plenty of behind the scenes footage and plenty of interviews as well.
Review By: Dave Warner