Nightwatch (1998)
Ewan McGregor, Nick Notle, Patricia Arquette, Josh Brolin; d. Ole Borndal; F

It is a law in the constitution of acting that for every great actor, there has to be on their resumee several bad choices. In his short acting career, Scottish thespian/heartthrob Ewan McGregor has made several. The most popular of these being The Phantom Menace, where he acted along annoying Star Wars characters, including the infamous Jar-Jar Binks. However, as much as I dislike Star Wars, and as much as I dislike the idea that he's wasting his talent three times in a row, nothing of the Force can top the low he reached when, for some unknown reason, he decided he'd lend his talent to Nightwatch. Given the opportunity to watch a day's worth of Star Wars or a day's worth of Nightwatch, I would always chose to feel the Force.

The plot to Nightwatch is as old as dirt. An innocent young punk is framed by someone for murder. This time, our hero is known only as Martin (McGregor), a young, doe-eyed law student who decides to make his cash by being a night guard at a mourge. Martin prefers to spend his time at work listening to ultra cool college music like R.E.M. and Prodigy while scurrying down the hallways like Tom Cruise in Risky Business. Martin lives in a world of horror cliches, complete with a psychopatic friend (Josh Brolin) designated soley to make the audience believe that he's the dirty, rotten, stinkin' killer who's framing our innocent, doe-eyed young punk. The murders that Martin are framed of are pathological killings of, what else?, prostitutes. Martin has a sweet, innocent, blonde girlfriend named Catherine (Patricia Arquette). They're in love. Aww. And then there's the cop (Nick Nolte), who does nothing but hover around mourges and crime scenes acting like a concerned cop. Now all Martin has to do is act innocent and scared. He is the innocent, doe-eyed, young punk after all.

Poor Ewan McGregor. Poor Nick Nolte. Heck, poor Steven Soderbergh. Why must their names be attatched to such crud? Nightwatch is a horrible, horrible movie. It's cliched, poorly written, poorly placed, disgusting, and a waste of celluloid and talent. Ole Borndal assumes that having Martin sitting around in complete silence, doing nothing, and then BAM, something happens is SCARY, when in reality the scariest thing about this movie was that it was even made. The film relies too much on old horror and suspense cliches to get a rise out of the audience, but the only reaction it will get is "I've seen this before." Hell, it's bad enough that I spotted the killer the moment he came on screen, and that was during the opening credits. No number of red herrings can hide where the movie is going, because anyone who's seen their fair share of suspsense and horror could tell you in a second. On top of that, if we really were to be scared and concerned, wouldn't we first have to care for the characters? Martin and co are nothing but a bunch of snotty, white bread loser college hipsters with nothing more to do than be a bunch of snotty, white bread loser college hipsters. If Martin was suddenly attacked by a bunch of birds I would care less. McGregor sinks below the material with his dissapointing performance as Martin, a doe-eyed, young punk who's also a snotty, white bread loser college hipster. The biggest embarrasment of all on McGregor's part is that someone actually let him get away with his "American" accent. If that was an American accent, Miss Cleo is really Jamaican. Occasionally he does display shots of brilliance but all in all it was a dissapointment. The only one who gave a completely good performance was Nick Nolte as the cliched cop. Everyone else just sucked, for lack of a better word.

Stay away from this movie. Even if you're a die hard Ewan McGregor fan, stay away from this movie. Go see Moulin Rouge. Hell, rent Cape Fear. Just don't let your eyes ever come across this peice of crud.

Vert A Go Go Reviews 2001