Still playing catchup: Daywatch

Jun 22, 2007

About two Fridays ago, Lyssa and I hopped the Metro to go toward downtown DC to a little indie movie theatre on E Street, the one theatre in the area that is showing the movie Daywatch (or Дневно́й дозо́р, if you speak Russian). The movie picks up some time after the events of Nightwatch - Anton is training Svetlana, the woman at the end of the first movie as a member of the Night Watch, when all hell breaks loose (as one would expect of such a movie).

Under this cut, here there be spoilers... if you haven't seen the movie yet, don't click. Daywatch uses the title of the second collection of short stories, but actually doesn't have anything to do with them. It's actually based upon the second and last stories in the first book, with some new material gluing it together to turn it into a suspense movie. The main plotline is taken from the final story - the chalk of destiny, with which one can change anything in their timeline and everything connected to that point (not all of history, as in the story). Anton gets set up as the murderer of a number of respected Dark Ones, and the Inquisitors are called out to mete out punishment. The body-switching plotline with Olga (the woman who spent much of the first movie in the form of a stuffed owl) was hilariously played out - the actors are also, it seems, accomplished physical actors as well, in that they were able to mimic the postures, gestures, and movements of the other. Anton-in-Olga was especially amusing in that a man in a woman's body suddenly has new sensations to sort out.. and bits that weren't there before, and feel altogether different.

As for the shower scene... it was written for femme-slashers. The look on Anton-as-Olga's face can be summed up thusly: "Dear Penthouse Forum: Jackpot!"

I can see why some Russian fans had a lot of negative things to say about Daywatch: Since the success of the first movie, the budget was much higher, and so the special effects were more pronounced and more visually catching. The Gloom has been re-worked so that it was closer to that in the novels, and the famous sportscar-driving-on-the-side-of-the-hotel scene was probably done to give the action movie fans something to drool over. The storyline, however, was excellent, engaging, and most of all fun. They even fleshed out a couple of bit characters from the first movie, namely, Kostya (the teenaged vampire) and his father (the butcher), and gave them larger and more interesting roles in the movie as a whole.

The ending is entirely different from either novel, though, so if you're expecting either from the books, you're going to miss out.

Once again, they did interesting things with the subtitles, such as having them appear and disappear, pulsate in time with a heartbeat, or otherwise react to the characters on the screen. A goodly portion of the credits are done in the form of billboards along the highway at the end of the movie, and as it turns out some of the Dark Ones at Yegor's birthday party were played by famous Russian celebrities and science fiction writers.

When the movie was over, I could barely walk because my ass fell asleep. That's always a sign of a good movie.

While walking back to the Metro station, we were greeted by a couple of people from the Skinny Puppy show the week before. It seems that we keep running into the same people over and over...