PRIEST, a post-apocalyptic sci fi thriller, is set in an alternate world - one ravaged by centuries of war between man and vampires. The story revolves around a Warrior Priest who now lives in obscurity among the other downtrodden human inhabitants. When his niece is abducted by a murderous pack of vampires, Priest breaks his...more
PRIEST, a post-apocalyptic sci fi thriller, is set in an alternate world - one ravaged by centuries of war between man and vampires. The story revolves around a Warrior Priest who now lives in obscurity among the other downtrodden human inhabitants. When his niece is abducted by a murderous pack of vampires, Priest breaks his sacred vows to venture out on an obsessive quest to find her before they turn her into one of them. He is joined by his nieces boyfriend, and a former Warrior Priestess. less
“Poor writing and non-genuine action, end up making this vampires vs. humans flick a slow one. The lower your exceptions, the higher your chances of walking out semi-satisfied.”
Anyone who was unfortunate enough to watch the apocalyptic action flick 'Legion', Director Scott Stewart's last pairing up with lead Paul Bettany would look forward to their latest offering 'Priest' with a trepidation. I for one did not expect any better and though the movie rose above these impossibly low expectations it still served to remind me what the biggest stumbling block of 'Legion' was, a horribly weak script.
Very loosely based on a Korean comic book series, the movie takes the basic premise infuses it in what is essentially a reworking of John Ford's classic western, 'The Searchers' (1956). In this alternate world, the planet is divided between Humans and Vampires locked in a battle for centuries together. These are not your normal fanged bloodsuckers but rather vicious & beastly abominations that have more in common with the acid-spewing Xenomorphs from the 'Alien' series than any "sparkle-in-the-sunlight" vampires.
In the totalitarian world of the future 'The Church' presides over fortified cities, offering protection in return for absolute faith & devotion. The Priests are super-skilled soldiers trained by the Church in the art of killing vampires who spent a good portion of their life turning the tide of the war in the favour of the humans only to be thrown aside once their duty was done. One such Priest (Paul Bettany) receives news of his niece being kidnapped by Vampires and when the Elders led by Monsignor Orelas (Christopher Plummer) deny him permission to mount a rescue mission, he does so anyways along with a Sherriff, Hicks (Cam Gigandet). Thus they ride out into the desolate wasteland on 'Mad-Max'-esque superbikes trailing the vampires. They run into more than their share of vampires, an assortment of odd characters, secrets from the past and also a band of Priests dispatched by the Church to stop the rescue mission.
The astounding environments, structures and contraptions on display as eye-candy can't hide the sorry writing of the script. While the essential basic plot hold tremendous potential, the all too serious tone of the movie turns nearly every dramatic scene into a laugh or groan inducing buffet of cheesiness. There were certain thematic threads that draw on real-life situations which tease us with promise of depth and character development but are dropped in favour of cliched histrionics. For a movie marketed on action, it surprisingly is low on anything exciting. The trailer pretty much shows everything the movie has to offer in terms of action and except for the finale aboard a train there is little to recommend.
As for the 3D, it's a little pointless as the movie doesn't have a single scene that wows the audience thanks to addition of dimensions.
The actors fall victim to the poor writing. None of them really do a bad job per se but their acting is highly uneven. Karl Urban stands out in a menacing role and seems to be relishing it with absolute delight.
'Priest' has a very intriguing futuristic-western mash-up premise and world but the poor writing coupled with lack of genuinely exciting action can turn it into a damp squib for those expecting too much from it.