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Night Watch - horror/sci-fi DVD review
Night Watch rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 1/2 stars
Actors: Konstantin Khabensky, Vladimir Menshov, Valeri Zolotukhin, Mariya Poroshina, Galina Tyunina
Director: Timur Bekmambetov   Studio: 20th Century Fox
DVD release: 20 June 2006   Runtime: 114 minutes (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD features: Subtitles (English, Spanish), Audio Tracks (English, Dolby Digital 5.1; Russian, Dolby Digital 5.1; French, Dolby Digital 2.1 Surround; Spanish, Dolby Digital 2.1 Surround), Widescreen English & Russian versions; Extended ending w/ optional commentary, Sneak peek at sequels, Bonus Trailers, Audio commentary by Timur Bekmambetov (subtitled in English, Spanish, French), Text commentary by novelist Sergei Lukianenko (subtitled in English, Spanish & French)

The forces of good and evil are at it again. It seems that, centuries ago, they met on a bridge to do battle to have it out for once and for all. The leader of the good guys (I think) was wise enough to see that this battle was going to come up a draw, so a truce was drawn-up. Ever since then, the warriors of Light and of Dark have been keeping tabs on one another to make sure everyone plays nice. As you might expect, we've come to a time where the balance is about to be tipped in the direction of evil, and the good guys are scrambling to thwart this. I won't go into the details (do I really need to?), but the battle is supported by whirling special effects and assorted gore.

The hero, Anton (Konstantin Khabensky), only found out that he was one of the Others (what the forces of good and evil are called), when he tried to get his girlfriend a black magic abortion without her knowledge in 1992. Since then, he's been running with vampires, shape-shifters and other Others trying to keep the balance. He drinks blood, but I don't think he's a vampire. The blood is more of a job-aid (which means he can write it off come April).

It's a bit formulaic but enjoyable as long as you don't expect too much. Night Watch is the first in a trilogy, so perhaps it's a weak first act. Director Timur Bekmambetov has two more of these on the way, one of which has already been released in Russia. I may watch them, but from the first act, I can't say I'm too drawn to the second. I'll have to have a look at the trailers before I decide.

If anyone sees this and can tell me what the mosquitoes are all about I'd appreciate it. They seem to be buzzing about in a significant way during key points in the film, but their relevance is not revealed. Their presence seems to scream "Plot Point, Plot Point, Plot Point".
reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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