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Day Watch


Stars: Konstantin Khabensky, Vladimir Menshov, Mariya Poroshina, Dima Martynov, Viktor Verzhbitsky, Galina Tyunina

Director: Timur Bekmambetov

Despite the title, this sequel to the Russian sci-fi fantasy Night Watch still seems to take place mostly at night. The forces of light continue to be at loggerheads with the forces of dark. Each side is developing a Great Other, while the Darks happily stick needles into old people before vanishing into the Second Level of Gloom, but insist that if a drop of Dark blood is spilt, outright war can be declared.

Anton (Khabensky), whose son and girlfriend happen to be the two Great Others, is framed for murder and, to prove his innocence, seeks the Chalk of Life, held in the right hand of Tamerlane the Great in his Samarkand tomb - or maybe at the foot of a dartboard.

Much Moscovite chaos, witchcraft and wizardry ensue, but this is not so much Hogwarts as hogwash, with no comprehensible storyline, and no characters we can care anything about. The effects are flashy, and subtitles equally showy, with words zinging off the screen, coming in the side for unseen characters, or appearing in colour (red for 'blood', natch, but, bizarrely, green for 'mint drops'). A lot of surface style here, in fact, cloaks the gibberish beneath.

David Quinlan

Russia 2007. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox (Fox Searchlight). Colour.
131 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 01 Oct 2007