Konstantin Khabensky, Vladimir Menshov, Mariya Poroshina, Galina Tyunina, Yuri Kutsenko, Dmitry Martynov and Mariya Mironova

Timur Bekmambetov

Running Time:
114 mins

Out to buy on DVD 24/04/06

"The Balance will be broken"

When the eternal battle between the forces of light and darkness came to a head, an uneasy truce was forged before the world was destroyed. The balance now has to be enforced by agents of light and darkness called Others, who punish those who influence the humans into taking sides. The balance however is about to end when Light Agent Anton Gorodetsky (Khabensky) realises that the prophecy of the vortex is coming to bear and the battle between Darkness and Light will begin again.

A phenomenon in Russia, the battle between good and evil comes to western audiences but will it have the same impact as it did in the motherland?

There have been many big budget Hollywood visions of the eternal fight between the forces of light and darkness since cinema began but with world cinema becoming more ambitious, better equipped and having larger budgets, we now have a new vision for this epic confrontation. Heavily influenced by western film, 'Nightwatch' is the first of a projected trilogy, with the first film introducing the conflict and some of the back-story.

With such a lot to introduce and establish in this first instalment, the narrative becomes muddled and quite hard to following in parts. By establishing a whole doctrine, characters and their back-stories as well as a plotline for this movie, this is information overload in parts. This torrent means the viewer can often wonder what is going on in parts as there can be two to three plotlines going on at once.

For a movie that had a very limited budget, which was probably the size of the average catering bill for a Hollywood movie, the visuals are extremely impressive. With a big nod towards the films of David Fincher, the Matrix trilogy and many a vampire movie, the visual style of the movie is very fast and filled with special effects. The darkness of the setting means that the SFX look a lot more expensive than they actually were and when you combine this with some fast editing, the filmmakers have created a look that really compliments the storyline. Problems occur however when the filmmakers go slightly overboard with this that some scenes become slightly too much to take in and can over power your visual senses as the camera moves all over the place.

'Nightwatch' is the start of something much bigger and this is where the film falls down slightly. As a standalone film it wouldn't have worked but as you know that it is the first part of a larger story, you appreciate the film a little more. It is the performances that make the film all the more watchable however, with Konstantin Khabensky as Anton Gorodetsky really driving the film. With visuals far surpassing its budget and the promise of much more to come, 'Nightwatch' is a fine introduction to a new fantasy world and another example of how world cinema is catching up to the Hollywood machine.


Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1, the movie is presented well, highlighting the excellent visual effects and sound design.


Disc 1

Original cut of the movie
Watch the original Russian version of the film with either the original Russian soundtrack or with dubbed English dialogue.

Audio Commentary by director Timur Bekmambetov
The co-writer/director of the film provides an English language commentary track for 'Night Watch'. The man at the helm offers a fascinating insight into the making of Russia's first fantasy based movie. He discusses the style of the film and highlights how he wanted to make it an amalgamation of Russian and American styles. He talks extensively about the characters and the scope of the story, highlighting how the battle between Light and Dark reflects the Cold War. This is a very informative commentary that complements the film extremely well.

Text Commentary by Novelist Sergei Lukyanenko
The man who wrote the original novel on which the film is based provides insights into the differences between book and the film. He also talks about the characters and the storyline, offering fascinating facts about the world of 'Night Watch'.

Broken Saints
Watch 'Prophecy Trailer', 'Episode 3: Verses' and 'Episode 4: Epiphany' that preview the animated comic book 'Broken Saints'.

Coming Soon
Previews of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer', 'Angel', 'Walk the Line', 'Breakfast on Pluto' and 'X-Men: The Last Stand'

Disc 2

Theatrical Cut of the Movie
Watch the slightly altered Western release of the movie that includes the original Russian language soundtrack with an ingenious way of using subtitles.

Audio Commentary by director Timur Bekmambetov
The commentary track is the same as the original cut but it does have extras sections that cover the changes to the Western version.

Text Commentary by Novelist Sergei Lukyanenko
This is the same as the original version

Deleted/Alternative Scenes (28.44 mins)
Entitled 'Star', 'Anton's brought in', 'Surgery and heartbeat', 'Anton and Olga', 'The Cup', 'The Fight' and 'The Roof', these alternative or deleted scenes are accompanied by commentary by director Timur Bekmambetov.

The Making of Night Watch (39.04 mins)
Director Timur Bekmambetov, novelist Sergei Lukyanenko and star Konstantin Khabensky take you behind the scenes of 'Night Watch'. The cast and crew talk about the story, highlighting the 'The Others', 'The Gloom' and the uneasy truce between the forces of Light and Dark. They also cover the visual effects, Anton and the set up of the story. This is a Russian featurette with English subtitles suffers from have all of the logos, banners and names in Russian, with no translation for Western viewers but you can still understand what is going on.

Characters, Story and Subtitles (5.07 mins)
Director Timur Bekmambetov and producers Anatoli Maksimov and Konstantin Ernst talk about Russia's first fantasy horror movie. They discuss the blending of cultures and the ingenious use of subtitles.

Characters and Themes (5.15 mins)
Director Timur Bekmambetov and producers Anatoli Maksimov and Konstantin Ernst talk about the characters, The Others, The Gloom and the book on which the film was based on.

Day Watch Preview (3.31 mins)
Director Timur Bekmambetov and producers Anatoli Maksimov and Konstantin Ernst talk about the Western release of 'Night Watch' and show you some scenes from the sequel 'Day Watch'.

Night Watch Trilogy (3.27 mins)
Director Timur Bekmambetov reveals how Night Watch escalated from a Russian TV series into a worldwide fantasy phenomenon. He outlines the fact that 'Night Watch' is part of a trilogy and how the first film is the set up for what is to come.

View the 'Comic Book Gallery' and 'Exclusive Edition Poster Album' that allow you to look at the spin offs and promotional material for the movie.


With the two versions of the film, the extensive featurettes and the excellent commentary tracks this is an excellent two-disc package for 'Night Watch' fans. Fox has come up with the goods again and produced a package that highlights what an inventive movie this is.



The Usher Home | Hush, Hush... | The Big Story | The Usher Speaks

Stuck @ Home | Coming Soon | Links | Contact the Usher