Movie Review: Nightwatch

While searching for any of the movies for my Readings In the Genre The Haunting at my local library, I came across the movie Nightwatch. I’d read the book by Sergei Lukyanenko just over a year ago and didn’t know there was a movie. Naturally, that means that I was curious enough to borrow the movie from the library because I do remember enjoying the book.

The movie had a lot of details that I potentially missed when I was reading the book or it made connections that weren’t in the book in order to make the movie easier to follow. Or maybe this really was a subtle plot thing that I totally missed when I was reading the book. I’m not really sure, which motivates me to reread the book. Unfortunately, I absolutely don’t have time to do that.

The biggest and most prominent of the details that I caught in the movie and not in the book was that Yegor/Egor was Anton’s son that he had tried to have an abortion on twelve years prior. That one detail changed just about everything in the story. It changed Anton’s motivations and how long the Powers That Be had been manipulating him and the world in general. It changed how Anton came to realize he was an Other and how he interacted with that world.

I really didn’t understand the person caught in between the powers of light and dark. His role was never explained. In the book, you have Maxim who fills the role of the Inquisitor or Executioner. He acts as a judge between the two sides where there is a dispute beyond the normal limits. But the man in the middle in the movie was clearly there by accident and it was never made clear if the light people and the dark people even knew that he was there, let alone all that he had witnessed.

The movie seemed to be a lot darker than I found the book. I don’t know if that’s because am sometimes more of a visual person or if I focused more on what was going on in the book and not so much of the gritty details while I was reading it. There were some very interesting cringe moments for me, mostly because of my long-standing disagreement with spiders.

I wonder if I would have had a different view of the movie if I hadn’t actually read the book? I like the book much, much better than the movie, which isn’t to say that the movie wasn’t enjoyable, but more along the lines of the book telling a more comprehensive story. That’s generally true when dealing with a story that covers different medias.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie and am thinking about seeing if I can find the second one, as I only own the first book and the second book. I don’t think I had a chance to finish the second book last summer because I borrowed it from someone who wanted it back before I left on my last research trip. I think I will wait on reading the second book until after I watch the second movie so that I can maybe form a more solid opinion of the movie as it would stand by itself instead of spending so much of the movie wondering where the similarities between the book and the movie might be. I think I would rate the movie as a solid three on my rating scale, though I’m not certain if I would pay full price for the movie.

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About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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