I never read the comic by Hyung Min-woo, yet somehow I'm willing to bet it's better than this movie. If I'm really being honest, I'm willing to bet just about anything is better than this movie. Okay. That's a little harsh. Priest is definitely better than Twilight, but really, the bar's not too high on that one.
|Christopher Plummer as Monsignor Orelas|
|Cam Gigandet and Paul Bettany|
|Karl Urban as Black Hat|
There are two big action sequences and neither delivered. The first involves Priest and Priestess (great names by the way) fighting a Hive Guardian. Essentially it's this giant vampire who protects one of their underground bunkers. The CGI is terrible and the hive is almost pitch black so it's next to impossible to see anything. If you are going to give me shit graphics at least let me see them! The final scene focuses on Priest trying to stop a train full of vampires from reaching the cities. This is where Priest finally gets to square up with Urban's Black Hat (again, great names). I've seen better fights take place on a grade school playground. They throw a few limp-wristed jabs and then it's all over. It was a huge letdown, especially given the characters prior relationship.
|A Hive Guardian in muted light|
My second issue with this movie was its pacing. The movie felt rushed, which was both a blessing and a curse. I'll admit this is a strange complaint for me, because my wife and I are typically huge fans of the 90-minute movie. It seems like every movie that comes out now is two and a half hours long. With Priest, I could have used a little more back-story. The plot was easy enough to follow, but I think the scene where Priest first sees Black Hat would of had more impact if we saw more of them together earlier in their lives. In addition, Priestess keeps telling us over and over again that Priest has made more sacrifices for the Church and his calling than anyone else, yet we never see them. We learn about one of them, however, again, I think a few well-timed flashbacks would have served the story in a big way. We would have understood his struggle and perhaps felt more for his character.
|Lily Collins as Lucy Pace|
Visually, the movie has a nice presentation to it. Priest, with his cross face tattoo and his black hood and cloak, portrays a man you don't want to fuck with. The vampire design is different in the sense that you don't see this take all that often, but you don't see them enough to really enjoy it. The scenes that were shot in daylight are gorgeous and take place in a barren desert backdrop, capturing the fusion of western, sci-fi and horror that was in the comic. The final scene on the train is a perfect example. It's like the old westerns where cowboys chase down a train with stolen gold on board. However in this movie the train is more steampunk than a traditional western, the horses are replaced by motorcycles, and the cowboys are vampires and vampire hunters. Other than that they are identical.
|My money is on the train|
I went in to Priest with zero expectations, and in the end that was probably for the best. The first 10 minutes started to pull me in, but then the wheels came off shortly thereafter. If you're really curious about this movie, I'd recommend borrowing it from a friend or hitting up Netflix or Redbox, otherwise I'd say pass.