Day Watch focuses on Anton Gorodensky (Konstantin Khabensky), one of the paranormal, quasi-police Light Others who chases around trying to thwart the Dark Others and thus keep the world in equilibrium.
Anton is training a new recruit, Svetlana (Maria Poroshina), who happens to have more supernatural chops than your average Other. Answering a 911 call, Svetlana discovers that there's a new terror on the block: a 12-year-old kid (Dima Martinov). The irony: this malevolent pipsqueak is Anton's son, who was almost murdered by his father in the first installment of the Watch trilogy. (Dusk Watch, the final entry, is expected in a year or so.) It's an infanticidal revenge story.
Rife with roller-coaster chases and gender-switching body-swaps, Day Watch deploys head-spinning cinematography and cool special effects. It's a trippy affair, even if it's just about impossible to track.
Day Watch *** (out of four stars)
Directed by Timur Bekmambetov, written by Alexander Talal and Bekmambetov, based on a novel by Sergei Lukyanenko. With Konstantin Khabensky, Mariya Poroshina and Vladimir Menshov. Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures. In Russian with subtitles.
Running time: 2 hours, 12 mins.
Parent's guide: R (violence, adult themes)
Playing at: Ritz at the Bourse
Contact movie critic Steven Rea at 215-854-5629 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his recent work at http://go.philly.com/stevenrea.