I saw Priest two weeks ago, but I have resisted writing a review about it. I’m not sure why – the movie is not particularly good and I’m not usually one to shy away from a chance to express my severe opinion about someone else’s hard work.
I guess the movie just didn’t leave much of an impression on me, which is unfortunate because I am a fan of the concept…
Priest is based on a Korean comic book series. It’s a post-apocalyptic Western-Horror-Fantasy where humans and vampires have been at war for centuries. Thanks to a group of highly skilled warrior “Priests” trained by the Church, sporting crosses on their foreheads and wielding fancy vampire-killin’ weapons, humans finally conquer the vampires and force them to live on reservations. No longer needed, the Priests are then relegated to obscurity within the massive human cities.
Paul Bettany is a Priest who breaks his vow to the Church to pursue a mysterious vampire that has kidnapped his niece. Unwilling to stand for this, the Church sends a group of Priests, including Maggie Q, to hunt Bettany down. The inevitable showdown uncovers a secret about the vampires that could risk everything.
I like the mash-up of genres in the premise – I especially enjoy when Western elements are used to good effect in TV and film (Hello, Firefly). But Priest is a mash-up that just makes a mess of everything, like a ball of PlayDoh where all color and definition and “fun” is lost in the smushy blob.
The movie isn’t exciting or scary or thrilling. All it seems to do is plod along, with a lot of brooding images and a few uninspired action sequences.
I also didn’t care for the vampires themselves. Granted, they didn’t sparkle, so kudos to Screen Gems for that. But the vampires just didn’t interest me. They were big, drooling, eyeless things that looked almost exactly like the “Pinky” demons from Doom 3. They could be aliens or mutants or demons and Priest wouldn’t be much different for it.
If you want to see a movie that will leave no impression on you, except perhaps the slight disappointment of a missed opportunity, then see Priest. Otherwise, save yourself the trouble.