Nightwatch (review)

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Dead on Arrival

Arrrrggggh! I’m bored with boring movies! Quick, someone throw me a copy of Raiders of the Lost Ark or Local Hero!

It must be at least a year since I saw the first previews for Nightwatch, starring the lovely and talented Ewan McGregor. Looked like one of those scary-funny black comedies in the vein of Shallow Grave (also with McGregor), which I loved. So I waited eagerly. And waited. And waited.
Nightwatch is finally here. And there’s no doubt why it’s been AWOL for so long: it turns out to be just another “serial killer on the loose but the kids will catch him” flick.

There’s no need to warn you about spoilers here, because the movies spoils it all for you. The identity of the serial killer is immediately obvious from the beginning, and if you haven’t guessed everything that was coming, the overly dramatic music cues will alert you. The red herrings might as well have “red herring” tattooed on their foreheads.

Oh, and since all the victims are young prostitutes (of course) and a bunch of the movie takes place in a hospital morgue, there are plenty dead naked breasts to look at. And some dead naked derrieres, too. If that kind of thing interests you.

Poor Ewan. He tries. He really does. It kind of painful to watch. He’s a wonderful actor, but he’s got nothing to work with here. He has to play against the wooden Josh Brolin (who proves — sorry Barbra — that the lack of talent runs in the Brolin family) and an embarrassed Nick Nolte — who is looking more like Skeletor from the cartoon He-Man and the Masters of the Universe every day. Patricia Arquette is in here somewhere, underutilized as the long-suffering girlfriend and victim-in-waiting. Even the delightfully creepy Brad Dourif is de-creeped somehow.

Didn’t I mention what the movie’s about? See, McGregor plays a law student working his way through school as a nightwatchman at a morgue, and weird things start happening one night–

Oh, never mind.

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