Oh my where do I begin with this charmer of a movie. Based of a Korean graphic novel,
Priest tells the story of the war between humans and vampires. The war raged on so much
throughout history that it destroys the world. Citizens take refuge and safety in communities
behind safe walls provided by the church. To help win this war with the vampires the church
creates this weapon...the Priests. These men and women with weapons and abilities are the
only ones who car track and kill these beasts.
The Priests round up the remaining vampires and put them in detaining centers. Seeing there
is no need for the Priests anymore the church disband the group and they are put back into society. Sounds like a makings of a good movie right? From the first 5 or 10 minutes it actually isn't bad. Then it finds it's way onto the slippery slope that it can't escape from.
Starring Paul Bettnay plays the title character Priest. After his brother's family is attacked by an outbreak of vamps he takes it upon himself to go against the church and go after them. Since the church has disbanded the Priests it is going against God if they decide to go out and fight these creatures. According to the church, these creatures are not a threat anymore and no longer exist.
Priest gets into a heated argument about this with the head of the church played by Christoper Plummer. How ever did they get Plummer to agree to be in this movie I do not know. Though I must add, even though it was a bit of a hammed up performance, it was the only performance that seemed to be played with some heart.
Off Priest goes to fight the good fight and it gets back to the Plummer. Not happy about his he reinstates the other Priests to go and bring him back...dead or alive. The movie runs along at a very brisk pace and only has a 87 minute running time. I felt that was too short for the story that needed to be told. I felt that the film makers must have assumed that everyone going into the movie already had a good knowledge of the story and of the characters. This at times made it feel of a mash of scenes to carry through to the end of the movie, which was just rediculous.
Stephen Moyer from True Blood fame pops up in the movie as the Priest's brother and Brad Douriff crops up as a snake oil salesman style character only to later on disappear and not return to the screen. Karl Urban as the villan Black Hat. He was once a Priest only to be taken by vampires at the very beginning of the movie.
Scott Charles Stewart, who gave us the ever terrible Legion, which also starred Paul Bettnay, gives yet yet again another terrible thrown together mess of a movie. No pacing, terrible editing, horrible writing. I do have to say the costumes and some of the set pieces were nicely done and added some grit and feel to the movie but as a whole I felt the movie just did not work. A terrible let down. Something I felt that it needed was more time to develop the store and let us learn about the characters. The opening 2 minute animation was used to tell us the back story. I felt that should have been about 30-40 minutes of live action story telling to get us up to where the movie actually begins. That way we go through what has happened with these characters. We're not given enough time to learn about them, or even care about what happens to
Overall I give this movie a 1.5 out of 5.