Priest tells the story of a well respected and decorated priest (Paul Bettany), who played a big part in the war between humans and vampires. Now much of mankind live within towering walls cut off from the rest of the world in a steampunk style city ran by the church. After a sheriff from outside of the walls arrives to deliver the news that the priests family had been attacked by a pack of vampires who were thought to of been eradicated during the Great War. His brother injured, the love of his life murdered, and the child he had to leave behind kidnapped by an unknown vampire menace he is forced to go against the church and enter the wastelands in search of his daughter and to once again wage war against the vampire race. Based upon the Hyung Min-woo created comic book series by the same name.
Going into this film I was optimistic but at the same time I had an uneasy feeling that I would end up being let down. Much to my surprise I was wrong and walked away from Priest pleased with my viewing experience. Picture a post apocalyptic steampunk inspired world with vampires and over the top Matrix style action sequences and you’ll have a good idea of what is in store for you if you choose to go see Priest this weekend.
Personally I really enjoyed the fact that the vampires instead of being the typical undead humanoids that we are spoon feed year after year were instead ugly bloodsucking creatures, who only turn humans into sun dwelling familiar servants if they are spared from being a meal. The vampires an odd mixture of cenobites and a worm from Tremors, looked interesting enough for your typical CG created creature. Their only downfall being they were not very scary and were disposed of so easily by the priest that there were never really any moments of tension until the main baddie is introduced into the story.
The story I found very interesting, and loved the fact that it takes a look at many real world issues such as the level of corruption within the church. It recognizes the fact that organized religion has strayed from the words they hold so dear and instead are overran by aspirations of power and money. The thought of a world where religion controls every aspect of the lives of many and those who refuse are out casted into a wasteland to fend for themselves is not one that is hard to imagine and makes for one interesting situation for a vampire film in my opinion.
While there is not much gore in the film they do wisely use what is allowed within the confines of a PG13 film efficiently, they even managed to work in the one f bomb you are allowed before getting slapped with a R rating. If this film would have been rated R, I do think it could have been a better film to the degree of more interesting interaction between the heroes and the vampires. Horror fans may be a little let down by the film if they are expecting a straight up genre film as it is more comic book feeling than horror as in reality that is what Priest really is after all, an comic book film.
The acting was spotty at times and no one is going to win any awards from their involvement from their role in Priest but it is interesting enough to check out if you are looking for a fix of comic book action with just a dash of horror sprinkled overtop for good measure. Overall I had a good time watching Priest and hope it brings in enough at the box office to justify a sequel but let me be clear this is not a mind blowing or innovative film to any degree. Priest is a slightly above average at best but nonetheless is worth watching at least once.
On behalf of The Liberal Dead I give Priest a solid 6 of 10.