Priest (2011)

“Priest” was directed Scott Stewart, who also did “Legion”, “Dark Skies & the Sci-Fi channel’s “Dominion”. The film is based on the Korean comic book series of the same name. The film stars Paul Bettany, Karl Urban, Cam Gigandet, Lily Collins, Maggie Q, Stephen Moyer, Brad Dourif & Christopher Plummer.

For centuries, a war raged on between man and vampire. From the Roman Empire to the American Military, the war destroyed the world leaving very few of what is now known as megacities throughout the world. These cities are under the protection of the Church. Then, a new weapon was formed, the Priests. Warriors with great powers & abilities single handedly turn the tide to man’s favor. Most of the vampires were killed while others were placed in reservations. After the war ended, the Clergy disbanded the Priests in fear of the very weapon they created. Sometime later, Sheriff Hicks (Gigandet) comes to a particular Priest (Bettany) to inform him that his brother was attacked by what appeared to be vampires. They killed his wife and kidnapped his daughter, Lucy (Collins). Disobeying the Clergy and going against the orders of Monsigor Orelas (Plummer), Priest joins Hicks to investigate. While the 2 search abandoned reservations & old hives, the Clergy summons a small group Priest, led by the Priestess (Maggie Q) to bring back Priest. Hicks & Priest discover that the mysterious Black Hat (Urban) has taken Lucy and has calculated a plan that involves bringing a new legion of vampires to the megacities. With time running out & Black Hat always being one step ahead, Priest & Hicks must hurry and venture through the forbidden wastelands, save Lucy & stop Black Hat from wiping out what’s left of humanity.

 

This was actually a solid and entertaining film. This was also way before comic book films had hit their peak. Unfortunately, the film does fall into some action movie cliches. Paul Bettany & Maggie Q are great as the Priests, Karl Urban & Cam Gigandet also give solid performances. The film has some good visuals & action sequences. The storyline is a bit formulaic and falls into the cliches that I mentioned earlier.

At the time, movies like “Priest”, 2005’s “Constantine” & 2010’s “The Losers”, were attempts to differ in comic book films rather than stick with popular characters like Marvel’s “Iron Man”, “Hulk”, “Thor” & “Captain America” as well as DC’s “Batman”, “Superman”, “Green Lantern” & “The Flash”. While “Priest” was solid outing, it wasn’t enough to shake up the already established cast of comic characters on the big screen. Now, a movie like “Priest” could work with this new and diverse cast of characters. This film was a step in right direction but just too soon for a dark comic cinematic universe.

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