Night Watch (Timur Bekmambetov). 115 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (February 24). For venues and times, see Movie Listings. Rating: NN Rating: NN
Night Watch comes at you like a speed freak yammering about the voices in his head. You want to grab it, slap it and yell, "Declarative sentences, motherfucker!" so it slows down to the point of, well, coherence.
It takes place in a Moscow where superhuman forces of Darkness and Light - vampires, witches, shapeshifters - are locked in an uneasy truce waiting for "the one" to be born. The direction seems like an exercise in which the filmmakers asked themselves, "Wouldn't it be cool if...?" and invariably the answer was "Why the hell not?"
Looney digital manipulation, crazy stunts, pixillated motion, caffeinated dissolves, steadily mounting over-the-top hysteria from most of the cast - it will doubtless entertain the brain-dead, but it's not a patch on, to pick a recent example, George Romero's Land Of The Dead.
Operating in a realm of sensation without sense, it heralds a great future for its director in Hollywood.