Based on the comic book series, Priest is one of the few remaining vampire hunters sanctioned by the Church. When his niece goes missing, possibly indicating the start of a new vampire-human war, Priest sets out to rescue her despite Church orders to the contrary.
Paul Bettany (Priest), Karl Urban (Black Hat), Cam Gigandet (Hicks), Maggie Q (Priestess), Lily Collins (Lucy), Brad Dourif (Salesman), Stephen Moyer (Owen), Christopher Plummer (Monsignor Orelas), Josh Wingate (Familiar).
Priest begins by jumping straight into the story and giving us a good taste of what is coming. The story then steps back a bit for some character and plot development, linking the film to its comic book roots. As the plot resumes the film steadily builds suspense with good action scenes and twists for both sides in the basic good vs. evil struggle. With a rustic feel, doses of modern and future technology keep the film feeling relevant through the end which, although expected, is fairly well done.
Acting was interesting if not good. Bettany did well in his role despite feeling very stoic. Urban was a good choice as antagonist and played the part nicely. Gigandet started off a bit slow but got into his groove and did well, as did Maggie Q and Collins. The remainder of the supporting cast presented solid performances as well.
Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were pretty good. Compared to other comic book films, this one had a fairly realistic feel with only a few overdone CGI scenes. Effects, both physical and CGI, were nicely done. Dialogue was good though sound levels could have had better control as the variations between highs and lows were excessive. Soundtrack was fitting throughout.
Overall Priest is a decent vampire flick with a solid plot, decent acting, and well done technical work. The only downside of the film is the short run time (87 minutes) which didn’t allow much exploring of plot aspects in detail. Action, horror, and vampire fans will enjoy this one the most.
With plenty of action, violence, disturbing images, and some foul language this should be fine for teens and above.
Official movie site.
Priest is no longer showing in any Littleton Colorado movie theatres.
Star rating: 3 out of 5
copyright ©2011 Dave Riedel
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