Day Watch (2006) takes place two years after Night Watch and, though I believe it works as a stand-alone film, is a continuation of — and elaboration on — the story of the first film. It is essentially the story of what happens to Yegor (Dima Matynov) after he chooses the dark path and is coming into his full powers as a Great Other on the verge of his 14th birthday. But the story has tossed in new elements — like the Chalk of Fate (with which history can sort of be rewritten) and a new threat involving the destruction of…well, everything should two Great Others meet. It should surprise no one that two Great Others will indeed meet before the ending.
It’s bigger and weirder and frankly sillier than its predecessor. (And it’s 30 minutes longer and sometimes feels it.) Everything about the film screams excess, but excess in a movie like this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s very obvious that the success of the first film allowed for a very expanded budget here. This leads to ever more elaborate — and often pretty goofy (a car driving on the side of a building?) — special effects, most of which are CGI in nature. Normally, I’d probably rail against the overuse of CGI at this point, but in a movie where almost nothing is terribly realistic, it hardly matters. What matters here is the almost exhausting flood of fanciful ideas being brought to life — or an approximation thereof. It helps that the film is also more jokey than Night Watch. The arch bad guy, Zavulon (Viktot Verzhbitskiy) — you know, the guy who looks like an aging Billy Idol impersonator — is here a lot funnier, but no less of a menace. How he and the good guy bureaucrat Gesser (Vladimir Menshov) end up is paticularly satisfying — and puts the whole power game into amusing perspective.