Look! Two dogs doin’ it!

Theatrical Release Date: 05/20/2011
Director: Scott Charles Stewart
Cast: Paul Bettany, Karl Urban, Cam Gigandet, Maggie Q, Lily Collins, Brad Dourif, Stephen Moyer, Christopher Plummer, Alan Dale, Mädchen Amick
Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, disturbing images and brief strong language.
Runtime: 1 hour, 27 minutes


Is there something on my forehead?

Ok, so it’s a Wednesday night, and you don’t have plans. You’re thinking about a movie, but you’re not sure what you’re in the mood for.

Is it a romantic night between lovers? Then go watch “Priest”, where one outlaw longs for another caught in a sordid triangle across the ages.

Are you in the mood for action? Then go watch “Priest”, where a vampire army stalks the land slaughtering humans and only a few good men and one woman stand in their way.

Are you in the mood for a western? Then go watch “Priest”, where the sheriff in the lawless outlands of future earth enlists the help of an outlaw priest to hunt down and stop a train intent on the destruction of the few remaining cities.

Remember, I said it was a Wednesday, not a Friday or a Saturday. You don’t have plans already, or else you’d be out doing them. That being said, all of the above statements are in fact true about “Priest”, albeit in an epic movie trailer exaggerated kind of way—much like some aspects of the film itself.

In this post apocalyptic world, earth has been ravaged by centuries of war between vampires and humans, leaving it completely inhospitable. The humans finally won the war when they trained Christian Priests to be super-human warriors that could fight as well as the vampires. However, once the war was over, the Church feared their own creations. The Priests were deemed as having no applicable skills, isolated from each other, and sent to work as hard labor. Now, years after the end of the war, the vampires are rebuilding their army, and slaughtering people in the outlands.

Paul Bettany plays a Priest whose niece has been abducted by the vampires; upon learning of the news he must break his sacred vows to the Church in order to discover what has become of her. Here’s where things get awesome folks. The sheriff, who brings the news to the Priest, is over acted by Cam Gigandet! Though maybe it’s more of a combination of overacting (he was awful in “Twilight” and “Easy A” folks) and poor dialogue writing (it’s “Ghosts of Mars” bad every once in a while, no joke). I don’t know, sometimes just looking at him try to act makes me want to punch him so his face will rearrange in a new pattern and he’ll have to try something new for once.

The Priest and the Sheriff then meet up with a Priestess (Maggie Q), whose been longing for Paul Bettany’s character since she met him in Priest school all those many years ago. But he was in love with his missing niece’s mom and couldn’t love the girl in front of him, blah, blah, blah. Oh, and the Priestess has on this awesome costume that makes it look like her nipples are always hard; which really, is important for the authenticity of a post-apocalyptic-western-fusion film.

Now, we get to the important part, the bad guy. The true vampires in this world are not human; however, during the war, one human Priest was captured by the vampires and presumed dead. Not so fast, Paul Bettany. He’s back, and now he’s a human-vampire like none before. And, most importantly, he’s played by Karl Urban. Between you and me, reader, I’d be Karl Urban’s corset busted buxom waif atop a fiery train bound for hell any day. Then again, I repeatedly enjoyed watching “Pathfinder“, “Doom” and “The Chronicles of Riddick”, not to mention his socially acceptable films like “Star Trek” and “RED“. His acting is great, but his lines are terrible at times—”He is the bringer of the tide, he is the wave that will wash clean this unclean world”.

This film is a mixed bag. On one hand, you have a great cast of supporting actors like Christopher Plummer, Stephen Moyer, and Brad Dourif, but then you get crap one liners tossed out at you from the lead actors. You have good fight scenes with guns, hand-to-hand and swords, and then you have crappy physics shots where motorcycles ricocheted in the wrong direction. You have a great production value with a good story, yet it is paired with heavy handed EPIC score at every moment making it comical at times.

If “Priest” had a better paired score/soundtrack and fewer zingers from Cam and Karl, it would be headed straight for a 4 out of 5. As it stands, I can’t justify more than a 2.5 out 5. That being said, I’ll still own, re-watch, and enjoy the film for its western-fusion-vampire-Bettany-Urban-Moyerness. So go out, and enjoy that Wednesday night. You didn’t have any plans, did you?

2.5 out of 53D No