Directed by : Scott Charles Stewart
Written by : Cory Goodman
Starring : Paul Bettany, Karl Urban, Cam Gigandet
Based, loosely, on a popular Korean comic series and reuniting the director and star of the underwhelming Legion, Priest is a Searchers with priest versus vampires replacing cowboys and Indians. Throw in a bit of sci-fi and you have a movie with elements of Blade Runner, Judge Dredd, Aliens and many others.
In a post apocalyptic world (established in an animated sequence) after all vampires are overcome by ninja priests in the Great Vampire War and confined to reservations, most humans live in forts (think Blade Runner rather than Fort Apache) under the totalitarian(go figure) protection of the Church. The warrior priests are stood down as the Church authorities try to erase remnants of the vampire era. When some vampires attack a family, who live in a wild western wasteland where everyone talks like Clint Eastwood and dresses in full cowboy regalia, they kidnap a girl. This is in the hope that they can entice the girl’s uncle, a former warrior priest referred to only as the Priest (Bettany) into the open. Guess what, it works!
Along with the girls cowboy boyfriend, a whiz with a gun, while the Priests arsenal consists of lethally sharp crosses and missals and fighting skills that would not be out of place in the Matrix franchise they set out on their journey where a renegade priest vampire Big Hat (Karl Urban) may be more formidable than a run of the mill vampire.
Given the directors background in special effects the action sequences are disappointing even if the 3D is mild amusing and this is sinful in a movie that has nothing else going for it. Even an action ( horror, sci-fi, or whatever this mish-mash is supposed to be) film needs characters that the audience can invest in; in this aspect Priest is soulless. While there are unintentional laughs (the dialogue is clichéd beyond belief) there is no humour whatsoever and one cries out for the light touch of a John Carpenter.
The only frightening thing about Priest is that the ending leaves the way open for a possible sequel. What do you think about this movie? Share your thoughts in comments.
MoviesCrunch Rating – 6/10