Daywatch - *** 1/4
I don't actually remember that much of Nightwatch, the first part of a Russian fantasy movie trilogy. I saw it about a year ago on DVD, and, well, it was fairly forgettable; but maybe that was just the dubbed dialogue speaking, which never does well for me. I recall enjoying it at the time; and my wife insists that it was a good movie as well, since she re-watched it a couple of days ago.
This movie was better.
Daywatch feels like a live-action anime movie, in Russian. The story is big, probably bigger than it needs to be; the characters are more archetypes than anything; and the action is larger-than-life when anything is happening at all. I found this to be a good thing, myself; others may not mesh with it as well.
My favorite part of the movie, by far, was the subtitles. This isn't just a standard sub-vs-dub argument, either; the subtitles were interesting, like a well-lettered comic book. Words were color-coded based on mood, or faded in and out based on volume or context; they would slide behind the scene sometimes, or shatter where it made sense. It was remarkable, and I really want to see it again in other movies.
It's not perfect, but it's fun, and I'm definitely glad I saw it on its last night at our local art theatre.