Rewatched Jul 07, 2012
Josh Keown’s review:
"After all, if you're not committing sin... you're not having fun."
-Black Hat (Karl Urban)
Right, so, here we go, second futuristic, dystopian vampire serving of the day, after Daybreakers, only this one sucks (Please, excuse that rather horrific pun, couldn’t be helped.). Once again, like Daybreakers, this opens brilliantly, with an equally stunning and unique vision of a future ravaged by those bloodsucking fiends. Excellent set design brings the zealous church rule to life, whilst fine landscapes breathe life into the withered wasteland. This, however, is the limit of the film’s redeeming qualities. Paul Bettany is completely bland and dull as the eponymous Priest, whilst our two other central protagonists, Cam Gigandet and Maggie Q, don’t fare much better. The supporting cast, despite being fairly big names, are surprisingly poor too, including the usually reliable Christopher Plummer and Karl Urban. Moreover, other equally talented actors are hideously underused, such as Brad Dourif, Stephen Moyer and Madchen Amick. This is made worse by a truly abysmal script, to the point that it actually is unintentionally laughable in places.
Unfortunately, the film doesn’t improve as it progresses. I’m not a big fan of over-the-top CGI, even in the best of films. It should only be used in small effective doses, not heavily laden and exaggerated, as is sadly the case here (I would much rather choose the makeup of Fright Night or The Lost Boys any day.). The action too descends into the realm of the latter Resident Evil sequels, unbelievable, excessive nonsense. The plot basically comes down to good priest versus mysterious bad guy. That’s about it really. The latter scenes and accompanying script are pretty ridiculous, and it becomes a real chore to trudge through to the *unsatisfying* finale.
VERDICT; Priest begins excellently, and had potential to be fangtastic (Again, sorry.), but in the end just doesn’t have enough bite (I’ll stop now.) to hold your interest. In the end it’s a tiny bit bloody (That’s it I’m done.) awful. Stephen Moyer should have just popped a bottle of Tru Blood for the baddies and ended the whole charade.
2.5/5 or 5/10