2004 & 2006. Directed by Timur Bekmambetov. From the Novel Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko. Starring Konstantin Khabenksy, Vladimir Menshov and Viktor Verzhbitsky (with several others).
This is not a review, per se, since the two movies are both epic, somewhat surreal (in places, at least) and have every ear-mark of being a movie series that appeals to different folk in fairly different ways. In other words, if I say "slick, stylish thriller" you might say "confusing, overpolished and apt to wander off the mark for a scene or two" and if I say "modern day magic" you might say "uses streamlined technomagic as an excuse for logical breakdowns". I guess what I am saying is, well, both opinions above are mine. But I like them.
I like them for a number of reasons. They are fun movies. They do not follow any real strict coda. They are both gritty and pretty in places. They give odd little glimpses into Russian life. And well, I am a fan of the books and they are some sort of odd cousin to the book that shares the name with the first movie.
This summer, both will be availabe in the US, and I recommend watching them at least once. I would wager, 50/50, that it will not fully your cup of tea, but it will have something you will like about it. Rent it. Watch it. If you can, get the "crazy subtitle" version (that's me being lazy and not looking up the official name, but I think it went something like "International Language Version").
Send a little love out to Anton, one of the most phildickian characters I have ever seen, at least in a Russian movie.
Written by W Doug Bolden
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