Friday, March 10, 2006

Night Watch (Nochnoi Dozor)

by Brian
WARNING: This post contains a lot of plot points. Ordinarily, I'd say that they were "spoilers," but that would imply that revealing them would compromise the viewing experience. In this case, everything's too arbitrary for the revelation of plot points to matter one way or the other, but consider yourself warned nonetheless.

Despite the warnings from Nick, I ventured forth into the darkness to see Night Watch last night. I actually didn't think it was as bad as I anticipated, but I'd have to agree that it's not very good.

Mostly, I'd say that my problem was that it didn't make a lick of sense. Characters are introduced and abandoned (whatever happened to Olga the owl lady during the second half?), character traits are introduced and then discarded (a woman can turn into a tiger, but can't scurry up a ladder any quicker than a 12-year-old kid?), and a bunch of stuff happens that seems important when it happens but happens for no reason (what was the point of the power plant blowing up, exactly?)

Actually, that last problem applies to entire story threads. What was the deal with the virgin's curse? So much time is spent trying to undo it, and then it's undone and ... nothing. Events transpire exactly as they would have had nothing been done. Oh, I guess the plane lands safely and the lights come back on, for reasons I don't understand, but given the supposed importance of the Great Other turning to darkness, that hardly seems to matter, am I right?

Maybe I should just be patient. After all, it is the first film of a trilogy, so maybe all these things will be explained and/or turn out to matter in the end. And I have to concede that the film is made with the kind of passion for filmmaking and lack of cynicism that makes Robert Rodriguez's lesser movies still watchable. But this movie's an incoherent mess, and there's just no way around that.


Blogger Nick said...

Good review.

I've read several very positive notices for the film, people who were big fans, and at those times considered whether I was wrong. Whether I was watching the film in the wrong way. So I watched the parts I didn't 'get.'

But, no, it's just a fucking mess.

This is basically the emperors new clothes, only this time the emperor is a nudist who just sprinted past you.

And I think he flipped the bird on the way.

3/10/2006 03:53:00 PM  

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