Priest

"Bad"

Priest Review


Bettany reteams with Legion director Stewart for another loud religious-themed action movie. But the po-faced filmmaking and acting only highlights how unoriginal it is, from production design to music to action sequences.

In the distant future, vampires have been vanquished to reservations by fierce warrior priests, whose order was then disbanded. But with rumours of a new attack, one priest (Bettany) returns to action, violating the direct order of his monsignor bosses (Plummer and Dale). Teaming up with a rural sheriff (Gigandet), he heads into the dystopic landscape to rescue his niece (Collins), who was kidnapped by an old colleague (Urban) who's now fanged and evil. As they catch up with him, they're joined by another rogue priestess (Maggie Q).

Everything about this film screams "Cliche!" from the bleached-out post-apocalyptic camerawork to the ubiquitous long coats. It's the Wild West with Batman-style gadgetry, and while there are clever nods to both genres, the result is so contrived that we never buy into the story. It doesn't help that the stunts are so heavily digitised that the fights never look remotely real.

Mortals thrown from 100mph trains simply brush off the dust and rejoin the carnage while eyeless vampires bound around like slobbering, toothy Spider-men.

This might work if there was some fun to be had, but everything is so over-serious that it becomes numbingly corny. And it doesn't help that the rasped dialog is seriously awful, as is a painfully obvious musical score and the overuse of empty religious themes and cross imagery. Even the forbidden lust between priests rings false. So even though the movie has a breathless pace and a clearly expensive visual sheen (the 3D is irrelevant), it's actually quite dull to watch.

In the middle of this, the cast doesn't have much to do. Bettany gives yet another committed performance as a true believer standing up against a rigidly pious society. And Plummer gets the thankless Amity Island Mayor role as a grump who's unbending for no reason at all. No one else really registers at all, even though it's clearly set up to become a franchise. Instead, it feels like this year's Jonah Hex.



Priest

Facts and Figures

Genre: Sci fi/Fantasy

Run time: 87 mins

In Theaters: Friday 13th May 2011

Box Office USA: $29.1M

Box Office Worldwide: $76.5M

Budget: $60M

Distributed by: Screen Gems/SONY PICTURES

Production compaines: Screen Gems, Michael De Luca Productions, Stars Road Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, Buckaroo Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 16%
Fresh: 15 Rotten: 79

IMDB: 5.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Scott Stewart

Producer: , , Mitchell Peck,

Starring: as Priest, as Hicks, as Black Hat, as Lucy, as Priestess, as Aaron, as Shannon, as Monsignor Orelas, as Salesman, as Monsignor Chamberlain

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.