In the 14th century, the Army of Light & the Army of Darkness have
fought each other to a standstill, so an armistice for the next 1000 years
is brokered. & to ensure this armistice, the Day Watch & the Night
Watch are installed, watchmen who control that the other isde keeps its
part of the agreement ...
1992: Anton (Konstatin Khabensky) is one of the Others, meaning he is
either of the Army of Light or of Darkness, but of which one is not
decided yet, that depends on a kind of funnel that will be opening
(metaphorically speakiong) & let in either light or darkness. When he
turns to a which though to kill the unborn baby of his wife (Mariya
Mironova) who has left him, darkness seems to be taking over, but just in
time, some Night Watchmen (who are actually Warriors of the Light of
course) stop by to save his soul.
12 years later: Anton has since been trained to be a Night Watchman,
& has since acquired the power to see funnels in people, which
identify them as (yet uninitiated) Others. But soon enough, he gets into a
fight over an Other - 12-year old Yegor (Dimitry Martynov), who of course
eventually turns out to be Anton's son -, & in the process of this
kills Andrey (Ilya Lagutenko), a Warrior of Darkness. & need I say it,
the Warriors of Darkness are all vampires.
However, the fight against Andrey didn't leave Anton unharmed (actually
he almotst dies himself), plus the vampires don't take it soo lightly that
he has killed one of theirs, & swear bitter revenge. However, the
Night Watchmen now have to get their hands on the boy, Yegor, before the
vampires do, plus Anton has spotted another Other, Sveta (Mariya
Poroshina), whose funnel hasn't yet opened, so Anton has to fight pretty
much on two fronts ... & to help him, he is given Olga (Galina
Tyunina), a sorceress who can turn into an owl.
... after many fights & carchases though, Anton & friends have
gotten hold of Yegor, taken him top their hide-out, & they seem to be
winning him over for the side of Light, & Anton has even found out the
whereabouts of Sveta & pays her a visit to win her over as well ...
& indeed, he comes t the right time, when the funnel opens & turns
her into a warrior of light ...
But it seems Anton's timing was dead wrong, because when he was out
winning over Sveta, the vampires concentrated their forces to kidnap
Yegor, & when Anton comes back to the hide-out, he finds he has to
face the Army of Darkness on his own ... & for a while he even seems
to succeed, until he has to face Gesser (Vladimir Menschov), who just
proves too valiant an opponent for Anton. Only when Gesser prepares to
decapitate Anton does Yegor interfere, & he ultimately saves his
father's life ... but at what price, since it is then and there that
Gesser reveals to him that Anton tried to kill him when he was still in
his mother's womb ... & this finally wins Yegor over to the Dark Side.
At the first glance, the movie looks quite cool, with some quite good
action scenes (I liked best the scene when a truck summersaults over a man
crossing the street & lands on all four wheels), cool images &
some gore as well ... unfortunately only on first glance.
At closer inspection though, the film fails to hold its promise: It is
way too preoccupied in setting up its complex world of the eternal fight
good versus evil (according to the novel the film is based on) to tell its
actual story, way too many narrative threads are interwoven to still
follow what little actual story there is, & somehow, when some
narrative strands are intercut, the rhythm (which is so essential to
especially action scenes) is totally thrown off. & after a while the cool
images become nothing more than empty hulls.
Allegedly the start of a trilogy, as the novel the film is based on is
the first of a trilogy as well.