ReviewWriter: Naseem RandhawaWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Dark City”, “Daybreakers”, “Legion”
Based on the Korean comic of the same name by Min-Woo Hyung, "Priest" is set in an alternate Dystopian world in which the human race is threatened by vampires. Rather than being all human-like and smooth silent killers from what we're accustomed to, the vampires are nasty-looking deadly creatures that attack everything and anything in their path. In a walled city called the Church, which is controlled by a corrupted government that misuses religion to invoke fear in its residents; the streets are lined with computerized confession booths and the symbol of the cross is deeply honoured to the brink of obsession. Years back, the Church had established a group of vampire warriors called the Priests, to rid the world of vampires. After years of war against the fiends in which the Church won, the Priests are retired from their service and are left to fend for themselves among society. Or so it seems until one day, when one of the Priest's niece gets kidnapped by a band of vampires, proving that they still exist to endanger mankind and the four walls of the Church.
Paul Bettany plays the title role as a headstrong Priest who is trained to kill with his bare hands rather than requiring the need for firearms. In the role that was initially offered to Gerard Butler, Bettany does a good job in which only the action scenes are concerned. As a Priest, Bettany looks bland, which is also translated in his acting as as well. Interestingly, this will be the third time in which Bettany plays a devout man of God. The first was as the albino Opus Dei member, Silas, in "The Da Vinci Code", and then in 2009's "Legion" as the archangel Michael. Ironically, Bettany's an atheist in real-life.
Cam Gigandet who plays the Priest's niece's boyfriend, Maggie Q as the other Priest member, and Christopher Plummer as the leader of the Church government, are just as bland in their roles offering nothing extra than what we already expect of them or have seen before in their previous roles.
The action scenes however are decent, and the whole concept of the Priests versus the vampires is a brilliant idea that could've have improved greatly and expanded upon. Audiences would find that the action in "Priest" is predictable and not something to rave about.
All in all, "Priest" lacks the wow-factor that is needed to make the movie one of a kind therefore ends up disappointing instead. It falls short all on areas and remains as a monotonous serious movie without giving audiences a single thing to laugh about throughout its duration. Well, at least it's no "Twilight"!Cinema Online, 09 May 2011