Nightwatch (1997)

Genres - Crime, Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Crime Thriller, Psychological Thriller  |   Release Date - Apr 17, 1998 (USA)  |   Run Time - 101 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Genevieve Williams

This American remake of Nattevagten, from the same director (Ole Bornedal) and starring Ewan McGregor (with American accent) as protagonist and fall guy Martin, Nick Nolte as Inspector Cray, Patricia Arquette as Martin's girlfriend Katherine, and Josh Brolin as best friend and red herring James Christian Gallman, contains all the elements of the Danish film, but somehow they don't add up to much. One could perhaps blame Steven Soderbergh's lackluster script, which screws tension to the sticking point, only to let it dissipate amid pointless plot twists and peculiar confrontations masked as character development. The cast -- which also includes Brad Dourif as the duty doctor for the morgue where Martin serves as the nightwatchman -- does their able best, and the climax, when it finally occurs, is worthwhile, albeit improbable. Still, the film sacrifices story in favor of mood too many times, and wastes the considerable tension it generates in setting up pointless secondary characters and dead-end subplots. Ultimately, Nightwatch becomes yet another Hollywood example of how to screw up a remake of a foreign film.