Saturday, August 27, 2011

Priest

Priest
Directed by: Scott Charles Stewart
Written by: Cory Goodman & Min-Woo Hyung
Distributed by: ScreenGems
Released in theaters May 13, 2011
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, disturbing images and brief strong language.

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Priest, loosely based on a Korean graphic novel, is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi with both a dark dystopian and old western feel. Priest (Paul Bettany) is a legendary Warrior from the last Vampire War. He is drawn from the city and breaks his vows to the Church when his niece (Lily Collins) is abducted by a pack of vampires. Her boyfriend (Cam Gigandet), a rather immature, trigger-happy sheriff, joins Priest in his quest to save Lucy before her abductors change her into a one of them. These aren’t your emotionally torn, sparkly vampires; think more along the lines of Alien with nasty fangs and blinding speed! They live in hives and serve one nasty queen—a queen who was smart enough to learn how to create a stronger, hybrid creature. Priest must learn where his faith truly belongs before it is too late for Lucy and the rest of the world.


I really liked Bettany‘s character in Legion, and he doesn’t disappoint in this film either. I adore his dark, subtle sense of humor, and Cam Gigandet offered a perfect contrast. It was great to see several familiar and well-liked faces (Bettany, Gigandet, Karl Urban, Stephen Moyer, Brad Dourif, Christopher Plummer, Maggie Q). The cast was well chosen and there was splendid on-screen chemistry.

Just because Bettany is a Priest, don’t expect to be bogged down with religion. Sure, the Monsignors have quite a system going on that might be a little reminiscent of the Vatican, but they really are no different than your selfish, power hungry government. It doesn’t butcher religion/Christianity either. I was actually quite impressed when the Warrior Priestess tells Priest that his power doesn’t come from the Church but rather from God.


I loved the darkness and dinginess of the cities contrasted with the sun-scorched wasteland settlements. The hives were gloomy and drafty, and this feeling was successfully brought to the surface in the reservation where the willing offered themselves up to the vampires as familiars.

There’s a couple interesting twists in the plot, which I enjoyed. I like how there is romance, but it isn’t the focus of the film—just a bonus. I get the feeling there is so much more depth to the characters, but a lot of the backstory is left to the viewers’ imagination.


This film boasts quite a bit of action and special effects. There are no monotonous exorcisms here. Priest is a cross-throwing badass vampire slayer, and there’s even a guy-worthy explosion! Expect some decent combat scenes and a fair share of blood and guts. I have to admit, though, the cheesy motorcycle goggles made me giggle.

This movie is a little creepy at times, and it did give me bad dreams—but I think it had more to do with watching it right before bed than anything. You should definitely rent a copy and check it out for yourself!

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