The movie is a combination of two fads which are prevailing currently in Hollywood: Vampires and 3-D. And it fails miserably to evoke anything out of both things.
The director seems to have forgotten that the audience today has seen so many Vampire movies, that they want a vampire movie to be different, like what ‘Daybreakers’ was, something that is original. Now Priest is not heavily the same old school vampire movie, but yet it is so inspired from so many movies, when you go and watch the movie, you will feel like “I have seen this scene somewhere”. And the other crime apart from some cliché vampire tricks, 3-D, why make a good looking 2-D movie into a 3-D movie and also why make a dark looking movie even darker. You feel like “what is going on the screen, why cant is see something.”
The plot seemed to be good, but something went wrong in between.
The plot is based on a cult graphic novel by Min-Wood Hyung, Priest is amalgamation of gothic vampire horror and some emotional drama, but the director could not handle the script well and made a good looking film in the start, a mediocre looking film in the end. Paul Bettany (Priest) is a warrior priest who had served the human race and the church during the war between vampires and humans, he served the humans when they were losing the battle and then he was made a warrior priest along with some more priests, they were invincible, they killed all the vampires and the city of humans remains in peace. But after the war they were forced to live like normal humans. This story is told in an animated form and it is quite good and quite childish too, because such narration is surely the thing of past, but then too it looked quite sensible.
Moving on after the war the priest were forced to live a normal life and they do as they are asked to because, the church has gained immense power like it had in the pre-medieval times, today in the future or past (not specified) Church is everything and going against the Church is going against the God. The city looks very dark, and it is always raining ash (not explained why). One thing cool about the city was like communal toilets, there were communal confession boxes. And confession boxes had automated voice messages recorded by fathers. Cool right. Back to the story, a family is killed by vampires (not shown but we are not dumb) and the family is related to the priest. Later we come to know that the girl in the family is kidnapped by the vampires and this we come to know by a Sheriff who is also boyfriend to the Priest’s niece. And then the Priest meets his brother who is lying on the death bed and he tells him to find the girl. And they begin their crusade to find the girl. But there is one problem; the Monsignor of the church has made the residents of the city believe that there are no Vampires and he is certainly not ready to break that belief, but the Priest breaks the vows and leaves for the search.
From here onwards the movie is all cliché kind, you see some ugly looking Vampires, he kills them in style (we must say for a Priest he has awesome style). They move on and find some Vampire shit made hives and they find more vampires, and then Monsignor sends other priest to kill this priest and the leader the priestess (Maggie Q) finds the hero Priest and she does not kill him but supports him. In this meanwhile some jokes are cracked and some ridiculous dialogues are followed. And we move on to see some more Vampires. Then the movie again picks up when the main vampire is shown. Here the movie takes a turn and some hidden truths come out. The climax is well good but could have been much better, it had a very good premise, but still the climax was good. Watch out for the Jericho city burning scene, that is one good 3-D scene.
Direction and Screenplay Review:
The director gets trapped to in the trap of mediocrisy and makes a good-looking movie mediocre.
Director Scott Stewart’s Priest has resemblance to his earlier movie The Legion, he also seems to have been inspired by some other Hollywood movies, but all this inspiration could not save him from making a good looking story into a good-looking movie. He surely could have hit the sweet spot if he would have given storytelling some more importance than visuals, which were anyways so dark. But he did not fail but yet he did not pass, something was surely missing. He will surely know that.
The screenplay was something which could have been much better, we kept waiting for some real action, it came but sometimes too late, and sometimes too early. Again it could have been better.
A special note to the Hollywood filmmakers; Please stop making such Dark gloomy 3-D movies, we can surely do with the 2-D, Really we love 2-D now after watching such Dark movie; we would love to get back our bright 2-D screens.
Someone please tell Paul Bettany, he is being type casted. After Da Vinci Code, Legion, Priest is kind of trilogy for Paul who is playing the man who will stop apocalypse and he is god sent man. His acting is not bad but not what could bring out the people from the movie hall saying “Awesome acting by Paul”. The rest of the cast has little to do and they manage to do only little. Maggie Q is wasted. Also the Vampire Villain played by Karl Urban is very mediocre. He does not gives you a chill in the spine. Well maybe that was not intended but still.
The Background score by Christopher Young is the only thing in the movie which makes things move along. The composer’s past work in Hell Raiser was just awesome and he does justice to this score as well. Full marks to him.
If you read the review then you know I have used mediocre too many a time, but cant help it, the movie surely is not bad but we have seen so many similar Vampire movies that just saying the movie was good because the design of the set was good and some action scenes were good, we cannot give the movie any credit because it was not original and surely not that entertaining. And I almost forgot like the makers of Priest forgot to add some good 3-D scenes. Why say a 3-D movie when there is hardly any 3-D used in the movie.
But still if you have never seen any Vampire movie before then you should surely go for this movie. As it has the entire Vampire movies blended into one. And if you are watching watch it in 2-D. it will be much better than it was in 3-D.