In his continuing efforts to protect the son who he failed and helped turn to the dark side, Anton seeks a powerful artifact with the ability to rewrite history. But using it may end the world before anything can be changed.
“Day Watch” picks up about a year after the events of “Night Watch”. After losing his son to the Dark Others, Anton has been busy trying to cover up his son’s crimes. Meanwhile, Zavulon has been mentoring his young new protege. Now, that is all about to come to fruition with young Yegor’s birthday – Yegor will ascend to become Great Other, allowing the Dark Ones to finally throw off the yoke of the truce and destroy the Light Ones. Anton feverishly seeks the Chalk of Fate, an ancient artifact which allows its user to rewrite any decision he has made, so that he might save both his son and the world.
The action builds uneasily throughout the film as the cosmology of the Light/Dark Ones, as well as their abilities remain vague and often convenient. Suspense is hard to build when a random character can show up at any time with just the right abilities to save the day. Even as Anton finds the Chalk of Fate he is unable to use it for fear of breaking the truce – which calls into question the whole premise of the film. As Yegor’s birthday later unfolds, the film does hit its stride as the Dark and Light Ones break into an open conflict which threatens to destroy all of Moscow and possibly the world. Anton’s final solution is poignant – if cheesy and obvious – and the execution of it is the high water mark for the series.
Arguably better than the first, this second installment does a better job of watering down the background material and making it digestible – it’s nowhere near as “busy” and confusing as the original and allows you to actually follow the story instead of trying to make you follow three stories at once. It’s still cheesy at times and pretentious at others but still has a story to tell and a good heart buried somewhere in there – it’s just debatable whether that’s enough to carry the often ham-fisted style and overly slow pacing.