Release date: May 13th, 2011
Running time: 87 minutes
Written by: Cory Goodman
Directed by: Scott Stewart
Starring: Paul Bettany, Karl Urban, Cam Gigandet, and Maggie Q
I always thought this movie looked awful. The premise looked stupid, the posters were stupid, the trailers were stupid, it just looked awful. The film was panned by critics across the board and currently has a 17% on Rotten Tomatoes. Hell, a friend of mine, who wanted to see the movie, wrote a review that trashed all over it. So I had no interest in seeing this whatsoever. But I was at my local library the other day, and there it was. At the library, movies are free, so I figured I didn’t have much to lose. I may not have wasted my money, but I did waste my time.
Alright, so the film takes place in it’s own world where human beings have been at constant war with vampires. These vampires aren’t suave or smart like Dracula, they’re more like mindless monsters who strongly resemble Smeagol from Lord of the Rings. So after years of fighting, these priests are trained to kick vampire ass and they end up driving the vampires away. Humans then build cities to protect themselves and the priests are left to work dead end jobs since they’ve driven the vampires away. But then this girl related to the main priest (Paul Bettany) is kidnapped by vampires, so the Priest has to get back to killing vampires to save the girl, accompanied by the girl’s boyfriend (Cam Gigandet).
This is gonna be a short review because there isn’t much to say about this turd of a film. The story was stupid and cliched, and not once do you ever care about anything. Even worse, the film is boring as sin. I at least expected the action to be good, but it was horrible. It might have been the worst action I’ve seen all year. The dialogue in the film was awful, and the characters were the most bland cut outs. Paul Bettany is basically doing a Clint Eastwood impression that is just awful, and no one else is any better. I’ve heard rumors that Bettany turned down a role in The King’s Speech so he could film Priest. It’s no secret that I’m not the biggest supporter of The King’s Speech, but it’s certainly better than this garbage.
I love how the DVD cover claims Priest is, “…quite possibly the most original vampire movie you’ll ever see!” If by originality, it meant Priest ripped elements from several superior films then I guess it’s true. The futuristic city is a clear rip off of the sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner. And the characters, they may be priests, but their choice of attire is far more reminiscent of The Matrix. The film also has scenes in a more western type scenario. For the most part it’s just a desert waste land. Sounds a lot like The Road Warrior doesn’t it?
You wanna see a good vampire film? Watch Let Me In. Wanna see a good science fiction film? Watch Blade Runner. Wanna see a good western? Watch The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Now if you wanna see one of the worst films of 2011, then Priest might be for you. Otherwise, avoid this movie at all cost. If it wasn’t for a decent animated sequence at the beginning, there wouldn’t be anything of quality in this film.