'Day Watch: Unrated'
(Vladimir Menshov, Valery Zolotukhin, et al / DVD / NR / 2007 / 20th Century Fox)
Overview: Like The Matrix, Day Watch combines cutting-edge digital effects and mind-blowing action to create a stunningly original world. This Unrated Edition takes you on an even wilder ride with more intense thrills and incredible effects. Only one thing stands between peace and Armageddon: the supernatural agents of Day Watch, who fight to control the armies of light and darkness. When the son of a senior Day Watch officer turns to the darkness, forces beyond the imagination are unleashed and the fate of the world hangs in the balance!
DVD Verdict: Let me just start by saying that when I first saw Night Watch, I was really impressed; so impressed that I immediately went out and bought the book Night Watch, Day Watch, and Twilight Watch. I'm definitely a fan and absolutely love the books.
I actually watched this the first tie of asking in the theatre and walked away very disappointed. Having watched the DVD from the comfort of my own sofa I am still left with much the same feeling! The action sequences seem fewer in this film as compared to Night Watch and the special effects have been cut back for some bizzare reason. Aside from the end of the movie, I can't realy say that I was impressed with any of the action or special effects sequences. Now before anyone says anything, keep in mind this is a world inhabited by witches, vampires, Others entering the Twilight,werewolves, shapeshifters, magacians, etc. There were no vampire sequences, there were no interesting "magic" sequences. I believe that there was a 3 second sequence where a parrot turned into a human but that was it. No werewolves, no vampires (at least not doing anything besides talking!), no spells, nothing. This is a world built on magic and things "not of this world" yet we see hardly any of it!
Aside from those complaints, I was disappointed that the movie followed very little of what was actually in the book. Even though the movie is called Day Watch, the ideas that are touched upon are based off of the first book, Night Watch. Don't get me wrong: I know that most movies take liberties with the script and change things up from the original but Day Watch really takes it to the extreme. I'm surprised the author let the director take such liberties with his work (although I noticed in the credits that the author, Sergei Lukyanenko, also had a hand in writing the screenplay).
In my opinion, I can't see anyone saying, "Hey, this movie is so good and compelling I think I'll go out and buy the book." I felt that the first movie, Night Watch, was fascinating enough to warrant reading Mr. Lukyanenko's work. What happened this time around? I should also point out that the story is extremely confusing. If you haven't read the books I'm afraid that you'll be left thinking, "Now who is that and what exactly are they trying to do...and why exactly are they doing that?" This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Audio commentary by director Timur Bekmambetov
"Making Of Day Watch" featurette
Six Russian Trailers
16 Russian TV Spots
US Theatrical Trailer