(Feb. 06) by Jsyn.
BACK IN THE U.S.S.R!
If this movie cannot shake up Hollywood's attitude towards anything new and different, I don't know what will. Here we have a wholly original idea (the first part of a trilogy) that was created in a part of the world where people stand on line for bread. American film makers who bitch about "never catching a break" should be ashamed of themselves. I'll get down off this soapbox for a sec to tell you why this movie fucking kicks ass...
Instead of cool spy gadgets, these agents can transform into animals and alter reality and shit. Now this business has been going on for a long, long time, but it's prophesied that one day there will come an Other that will tip the balance of power for the warriors of Light or Dark... depending on what side he chooses to align with. Of course, both sides want this MVP playing for their team and so the saga begins.
There are many simple but clever ideas in this movie that truly give the film it's own flavor, even though the subject matter is familiar. I like the fact that even though both sides keep tabs on each other, only the Light can issue the Dark "licenses" to do their thing. Just like human Law, it ain't always fair for everyone. There is a form a vampire has to fill out in order to turn someone. While that dosen't sound so romantic, it mirrors most mundane tasks in normal, daily life...especially in a place like the former Soviet Union. I guess oppression occurs in all societies. It's those little touches that really flesh out the mythology and humanize these inhuman characters. All that cerebral stuff aside, it's got plenty of action and thrills that rival any found in brainfarts like say, THE ISLAND. The armies of Light and Dark battle on bridges and rooftops, chicks transform into tigers and owls transform into chicks... fuck yeah, this has got it all!
I love the way the subtitles were handled... they completely compliment
and do not distract from the story. It's similar to the subs in MAN
ON FIRE where they reacted to the action as it happened. For example,
when one character hears "the call" of a vampire, the fonts
bleed out and dissappate in the frame and interact with the shots. It's
a clever way of making a foreign film more accessible to people who
don't like to "read when they are trying to watch a movie".
Good thing smarter heads prevailed at Fox Searchlight and they chose
not to bother with godawful english-dubbing.
Do yourself a favor when NIGHT WATCH opens. Try something different, explore other cultures and ideas, and see what else is going on outside Hollywood. A movie ticket to NIGHT WATCH is much cheaper than airfare to Moscow.
Kr u to! Klj o vo!