The forces of the Nightwatch and the Daywatch fight for an edge while enforcing the ancient balance between good and evil.
This movie is based (a little loosly) off the exellent russian novel Nochnoy dozor. part of a series of four books; The Night Watch, Day Watch, Twilight Watch, and The Last Watch. I cannot recommend these books enough and while I enjoy the Nightwatch movie don’t judge the novels by the film.
A second movie Day Watch was made and it is an awesome, spectacular piece of amazing crap. It barely has anything to do with this movie much less with the books. I enjoyed it immensely.
Oh, also, the subtitles in the US release are awesome, almost another character.
Plot : D12
Good Vs Evil in modern day Moscow, what’s not to love? Throw in secret supernatural cabals running things from the shadows, some ambiguity as to who really are the good guys, and a nice end of the world kind of prophecy and this movie has all kinds of good plot handholds.
Characters : D10
A really fun mix of characters who are all part superhuman, part beaurocrats. Anton is played as sort of a bumbling newcomer (not his role in the books) which is a great position for the PCs to begin in. Gesar is a great patron, wise, powerful, and not entirely clear on where his motives lie… Zavulon (the main villain, named Zebulon in the books) is a little more over the top ‘grrrrr I’m bad!’ than he is in the book, but is still a good example of the villain who really has his shit together.
Setting : D20
The balance between Day and Nightwatch is practically made to be an RPG world. You have all the faction infighting of Unknown Armies and World of Darkness with the institutional fun of X-Files or any given detective show. You may have awesome (or nearly awesome) powers, but there are laws buddy!
Gear, Tech, and Magic Swords : D10
A few clever weapons and relics, a good example being a flashlight with a crystal bulb used to burn vampires. You also get a glimpse of a bunch of other crystals, what are they for?
Beasties and Baddies : D10
Vampires, dark sorcerers, evil possessed dolls with spider legs… and of course Others like yourself with all the powers you do and just as much right to arrest you as you have to arrest them.
Soundtrack : D8
Good incidental music and some Russian pop music. It’s not available for sale or download that my casual search turned up. But you can find lists of Russian bands that aren’t entirely impossible to track down.
Overall Score : D12
A fun movie with a lot of potential. Not as good as the books, but then how often is a movie as good as it’s source material? Russian Sci-Fi has been an unsung treasure almost as long as there has been sci-fi and this holds it’s own and beats most of what the US produces.
Recommended System : Unknown Armies, Over the Edge, Worlds of Darkness