Night Watch | Chicago Reader

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Adapted from Sergei Lukyanenko's best-selling fantasy novel, this $4 million feature (2004) grossed four times that amount in its native Russia. Kazakhstan-born director Timur Bekmambetov claims in press notes that “there were no fantasy movies shot in Russia before this one,” a statement that—like the movie, with its Moscow rubble and abundant gore—indicates an exclusive diet of postapocalyptic vampire flicks from Hollywood. The plot involves forces of good and evil that have maintained an uneasy truce since the Middle Ages, though the punchy, nonstop visual effects (including an animation segment and stylized subtitles that sometimes suggest an online chat) crowd out coherent storytelling. R, 116 min.

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