FANTASY; 2hr 12min (Russian with subtitles)
STARRING: Konstantin Khabensky, Maria Poroshina
Day care: Poroshina and Khabensky
Boiled down, the gothic mythology behind 2004’s witchy Russian fantasy Night Watch and this, its grandiose sequel, is a classic case of dark vs light. Keeping the sorcerers and vampires of today’s Moscow under control is still no seaside stroll for woebegone Night Watch foot soldier Anton Gorodetsky (Khabensky), whose young son (Dima Martynov) is a Dark Other through Anton’s misguided actions. No wonder Anton wears his scowl on his chunky-knit sleeve — especially since the Dark Ones have framed him for murder. And where, oh where, is the cursed Chalk of Fate?
As unhinged as this may sound, it’s not a patch on the movie, which barrels, in Russian, from the crazy to the ludicrous, jollied along by wow-factor effects and heroic stunt work. It’s the kind of film a hyped-up teenage boy might make: high as a kite on its own grungy audacity and — although 132 minutes is pushing things way too far — just stone-cold kooky enough to tip the scales in its favour.