Here's a movie that brought the oomph back into the vampire lore - Night Watch (2004). By the way, I hear that the 3rd part is coming out sometime this year. And not a moment too soon, in this age of vampires having identity crises and, er, sparkly chests. In an odd twist, the third part is called, wait for it, Twilight Watch.
First things first. What's the story of this movie? As a recent reference, think of Underworld or even the anime Trinity Blood. There are factions within society, society being some sort of parallel universe where Russians are fighting the good fight against evil ... or good, depending on where you signed the dotted line. So you get humans called The Others which must not be mistaken with the pale, wheezy figures from that Kidman movie. Oh, no, these folks are super folks, born with 'extra powers', quite nifty ones I might add, which aid them in the constant struggle against the blood sucking dark forces. They are part of a group called the Night Watch and they keep the Day Watch in check.
Day Watch, you ask? Who the heck are these guys? Day Watch are the vampire folk and assorted minions, including disgruntled humans with incredible powers who wanted a bit more than a meager paycheck at the end of the month. These guys keep tabs on the Night Watch. In a funny way, it's a circle of life and everyone maintains a balance, going through the motion until that big defining moment in the future. I'm not entirely sure what happens but it's something along the lines of a powerful and nasty lord in a respectable headdress picking a side.
And all that is just the background setting. The main story, weaved together with fascinating little subplots, revolves around Anton Gorodetsky. I don't want to give away too much and spoil the twists in the plotline so let's sum it up as so: story's about the choices Anton made in the past, how it changed his life and led him to join Night Watch. Anton's most recent case has to be solved somewhat tactfully since it has drastic implications for everyone's future.
Enough said about the plot. Here are the reasons why I thoroughly enjoyed the movie:
Because the movie plot will leave you guessing. Don't expect predictable sub plots and typical cliches. In fact, you will probably find yourself glued to the TV, wondering, among other things, what the heck that owl shapeshifting was all about. There won't be any "safe breaks" where you can casually walk over to grab a beer while you wait for that annoying character to run amok into the woods and ultimately into the masked bad guy. Did I mention that sub plots are mixed into the main plot in a somewhat non-linear manner?
Because there are many delicious creatures in the mix. Remember the previous reference to Underworld? That's right, similar to that flick's werewolf-vampire love-hate relationship, Night Watch has an interesting medley of supernatural beings - flashy vampires, nifty shapeshifters and of course the random cursed creature. There's something delightfully Diablo-like about this setting. All we need in this mix is a quirky Deckard Cain.
Because the music was hardcore. Do you know what's worse than sitar music in a vampire movie? Lengthy, mushy love scenes between humans and vampires dotted with pop romance songs. Yes, we get it: "Baby, if you were gone, maybe the sun came out" or something to that effect. Music in the movie ranges from rock to heavy metal, giving the fight scenes an extra edge. Think back to Rammstein's self-promotional opening song in the club scene of Van Diesel's XXX. It gave it an extra edge, didn't it?
Love it? Hate it? What did you think of the movie? And what is the name of the song in that fight scene between Anton and hungry vampire lady?