I'm still trying to pinpoint why vampires and their ilk are all thenew hotness. My best theory so far is we all secretly yearn to getdrained like a bottle of pop, but I'm working on that one.
I'm sure this is strictly coincidental to our national interest inthem, but there's no such thing as an ugly vampire. Apparently they doall their recruiting in sororities and at underwear commercial castingcalls. (In fairness, so do I.) It wasn't until viewing 2004's NightWatch that I witnessed a vampire who, when rated on thesupernatural looks scale, came down more on the dwarf side than theelf.
Hundreds of years ago, the paranormal forces of light and dark battledto a standstill. Since then, an uneasy truce has held both sides incheck. As a vampire in service of the light, Konstantin Khabenskiy isassigned to keep tabs on the ne'er-do-wells on the other side, but ashe delves into his latest case, he discovers signs the world may beheaded for the Final Battle between light and dark.
The Russian Night Watch, along with its companion piece DayWatch, are the movies that put director Timur Bekmambetov on themap. This might have been a mixed blessing, as his first Americanproject was Wanted, the poignant story of a loom that orders asecret assassin society who to kill, but that movie had style, andscrew anyone who says otherwise.
In Night Watch, even the subtitles have flash, rippling acrossand wiping from the screen in response to the action. It's a smalltouch, but a fun one, and better yet, it doesn't distract from the bigpicture.
Which is good, because its plot is a little trickier than, say, TheCat in the Hat. I don't have a problem with the vampires,shapeshifters, and witches--I have lots of inhuman friends, and I wishthem good luck in Hell--and though the translation is strong, it takesa while to figure out what they're capable of and just what they're upto.
But its high concept and intricate story pays off. In the meantime,Bekmambetov entertains with lively violence and clever camera work,and while these days vampire stories are so common it's hard to find abook or movie that isn't jammed with sexy immortals sexily killing uslame humans, his grungy, low-class take on the paranormal feelsrevolutionary. Fresh and energetic, Night Watch is that raremovie that makes you happy we've got sequels.