For many of us, Russia is Vodka and Lada, oligarchs and gulags. Well no, it is also a whole cinematographic culture. Even if it is difficult to reach us. One of the few films to have remained in theaters was Nochnoy Dozor (Night Watch) in 2006. Fortunately, Netflix is making up for it with this film that came out of nowhere...
What is it about?
The film begins by introducing the main character, Igor Grom. Since he was a child, he has been defending the widow and the orphan. No wonder he became a policeman in St. Petersburg. However, despite all the good will he may have, he also realizes that powerful people are above the law and do what they want.
While he is tempted to go to the dark side, a super-villain burns him: the plague doctor. In reference to the mask he wears and that the doctors wore during the Black Death.
He then makes it his mission to stop the masked vigilante/criminal who finds popular support among the population.
What we think
If the film does not revolutionize the genre (the Americans have exhausted it a hundred times), it still tastes different. Thanks to the actors who are totally unknown in our country, but also because of the Russian reality filmed by Russians and not by Americans. We have the impression of something a little more "realistic." And watching it remains a good time for fans of the genre.
That said, the title is a problem. When we read it, we think that Major Grom will be the vigilante, but it's the opposite. He is rather the tormented character (single, neurotic, friendless) who finds a reason to live only in the arrest of his nemesis. He is in any case not the plague doctor as the title might imply. However, we would have liked (maybe) to see a Russian bad batman...