PRIEST (2011) Review

Directed by: Scott Charles Stewart
Starring: Paul Bettany, Cam Gigandet, Karl Urban

After seeing the disappointing LEGION, I wasn't expecting much from another film featuring the direction of Scott Charles Stewart and Paul Bettany in the lead. Especially another movie which seemed to have a similar religious theme. But after watching PRIEST, (in 2D of course, I'm not really a fan of 3D) I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It wasn't a great film, but it did have a nice stylish appearance and the whole western/post apocalyptic/steampunk fusion was kind of cool.

The movie introduces you to a world in which humans and vampires have been locked in eternal combat. The vampires have eventually overpowered the humans, forcing them to live in walled-in cities which are under the control of the church. But then the ultimate weapon against the vamps is found. The priests are a small elite group who have been especially trained in vampire combat, who eventually overrun the undead menace. The remaining vampires and their familiars are locked up in reservations, and the priests are disbanded.
But after an attack by a rogue group of vampires in which his niece is kidnapped, one priest (Paul Bettany) breaks his vows and teams up with Sheriff Hicks (Cam Gigandet) to track them down and rescue the girl. Obviously the church leaders aren't very happy with this development, so they send four other priests to bring him down.

The film was fairly fast paced, with plenty of action sequences and a ton of CGI vampires. I'm not a huge fan of CGI, but I've realized that for now it's here to stay. And at least the vampires didn't sparkle.
The washed out desert landscapes were nice, as were the dark scenes inside the vampire 'hives' and the jet powered motorcycles look pretty sharp.
I felt like the movie tried to squeeze in too many different elements though, with the cowboys, vampires, hi-tech weapons and so on. But it worked in a way I suppose.

Other than that I thought the plot was a little unoriginal, there weren't any really surprising moments, and the acting was above average but not fantastic. It's an enjoyable enough film and a good way to spend 90 or so minutes, but nothing overly spectacular and not something that I'm planning on watching again any time soon.

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