Review: Daywatch


The much anticipated sequel to 2004’s ‘Nightwatch’ sadly did not get a cinema release in the UK and went straight to DVD. At the time I thought, shame, because the press reviews were reasonable, but after watching the movie on DVD I could understand why. It’s not really that bad, but it’s not a patch on the first.

First off, you have to watch the first movie before this; it’s not a sequel which even attempts to explain the occurrences in the first film, if you don’t I can’t see how you can possibly get what’s going on in this movie. Assuming you have seen the first movie and understand about the Light and Dark situation I will jump straight into the plot of this movie.

The film opens with a narration explaining about the myth of an all powerful artefact ‘The Chalk of Fate’, an ancient device used to rewrite time; from this the film bounds back into the ongoing story from Nightwatch.

From the first film we see Anton’s son, still pretty pissed about the attempt to abort him, growing more and more powerful and more and more evil. Distraught at the loss of his son Anton continues to protect him, covering up his increasingly serious crimes. The film basically follows the path with the old make-worse-rather-than-better series of events which, as with the first film, spiral together until the end confrontation is unavoidable.

The plot of the film is not really the problem, however the fact that it takes over 2 hours to complete is. I’m not really against long films but the pace better be good. The problem with this film is that it isn’t; one minute you are blown away with a really cool and very imaginative action scene, but you know it comes with a price, the price being another 20-30 minutes of sitting, listening to more waffle. Ok not waffle, but you’ve got to get the balance right.

And so the film goes on, stop/start, right up to the final conflict. The trouble is that as complicated the plot begins to become you know exactly what is going to happen. Hmm, a chalk which can control time- figure it out for yourself.

The special effects are amazing; some sequences are even more elaborate that in ‘Nightwatch’. Imagination is something this franchise is not lacking and its used to full effect in ‘Daywatch’ as some of the action sequences are quite insane!

Sadly, what ‘Daywatch’ really lacks is the ties in with the mythological fantasy creatures which made the first one so cool. Pretty much gone are the vampires, were-creatures and such like, and with them the gothic/dark mood which gave ‘Nightwatch’ its atmosphere. ‘Daywatch’ seems to ‘bright’ for want of a better pun, very polished and very, well, high budget Hollywood!

Overall whilst by no means a bad movie, Daywatch really didn’t live up to my expectations. Pretty much all the things I liked about the first movie were missing in the sequel and, by adding more padding to an already complex story the ‘story telling’ elements of the movie were pure pace killers and the ending, after such epic build up, was a real let down. Whilst I would probably recommend it for people to at least see once (for completions sake) I doubt I will be watching it again.  

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