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Priest (2011 film)

An action film about a vampire hunter based on a Korean comic book.

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An actioner that sins.

  • Sep 25, 2011
* out of ****

Scott Stewart began his film directing career with 2010's "Legion"; which would easily make it on the "worst films of all time" list, if it were compiled by yours truly. Such a bad movie it was; beginning with promise, and then venturing into stupidity so irredeemable that even a detour into camp territory couldn't save it. Oh well; I had a pretty good laugh at the intended "scares" and the "ideas". Oh, let's not forget the acting; that was funny too. Moving on, Stewart has now made "Priest"; which is his second feature. Equally as dumb as his debut feature yet somewhat of an improvement, this is an almost unwatchable example of an over-done generic Hollywood action picture. It doesn't go over-the-top enough to be "dumb fun", and when it stays within boundaries, it tends to get boring. It wants to be taken seriously, but I find such a thing impossible. When your movie has vampire beasts that look like blind, demonic dogs; aim for all things campy and intentionally stupid.

The problem is that the filmmakers don't have their heart in the right place. Stewart once again proves that he can't tell a story or direct a movie with considerable skill. The visual techniques that he makes use of (CGI, CGI, and more CGI!) are notably better than whatever the hell he showed us in "Legion", but that's about it. Otherwise, it's about as lame, unbearable, and boring as the former. Basically, as an early warning, I can say this; don't watch "Priest" if you didn't like "Legion". If you hated it as much as me, then take note; don't be quite as stupid as I am. Avoid it like the plague. This is a flashy movie that tries to be entertaining through style and mind-numbingly-fast-paced and special-effects-laden action sequences, but it fails in just about every way. This can't be called entertainment, because the purpose of entertainment is not to bore the viewer into repulsion. "Priest" lacks the capacity to even do its job decently.

The story is set in the future; where religion has been separated from the rest of society, which lives in peace, without such moral standards and requirements of existence. However, there are still certain areas in which priests, the clergyman, and the church itself are all-too existent. Apparently, the Priests are very important, as they fight our wars against vampires, thus keeping us safe. Or at least that's how most people should feel, but still, disrespect can come from anywhere at any time.

The film's central character is indeed a Priest, played by Paul Bettany. This priest's niece has been kidnapped by the enemy vampires (one presumably an ally turned foe). The priest goes against all rules and teams up with a priestess (Maggie Q) and a sheriff named Hicks (Cam Gigandet) to get her back.

There, that's the whole freakin' story right there; all you need to know. As always, I'm not going to spoil anything major, I mean, why should I? I was once intrigued by this film, and curiosity led me to eventually watch it. I believe that good things can come out of curiosity, but in the case of cinema, often times, it does more harm than good. "Priest" was a complete waste of my time. It lacks logic or intelligence; it's basically one CGI action scene after another. It insults the Christian/Catholic faith with its obvious and witless religious references, which I would have forgiven, as long as the film had been engaging or "fun". But alas, it was not either.

I hated this film. It's trash. It's anti-entertainment. It's pretty much what I was set to expect (you know, from reviews and the like). It doesn't look half-bad, but even pretty visuals and "cool" fight scenes can't save this unoriginal, uncreative sci-fi horror actioner from falling short of what it sets out to do; big time. Some might be OK with it; and I understand that. All that matters to me was that I was not alright with "Priest". Quite frankly, I was very annoyed by it. There are many reasons why I'm enraged by the film, and I've said a few of them. Perhaps you will never know all of them, because a few big ones come in the form of spoilers, and this review is, like all the others, "essentially spoiler free". Even though I hated "Priest", you still might want to watch it just for the hell of it. So there; nothing spoiled. Just don't say I didn't warn you.

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More Priest (2011 film) reviews
review by . May 14, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
A Catholic Warrior Priest Battles Vampires In A Strange Land....
Vampires and slayers. Humans vs. vampires. Who would win? Well, director Scott Stewart who directed last year’s “Legion” tries to answer this question when he directs this film inspired by the Korean comic book written by Min-Woo Hyung with the same name (Korean comics are called “Manhwa“). I am at a slight disadvantage since I didn’t exactly follow the source material that far so I cannot really say how the script by Cory Goodman really does compare …
review by . May 14, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Priest, based on the graphic novel by Min-woo Hyung, is a fun and stylish 3D adventure, one that artfully blends horror, science fiction, action, and just a little bit of western. It takes place in an alternate world, where humans and blind, beast-like vampires have been at war; to eradicate the menace – as explained in a very effective opening animated sequence – the Church created a society of assassin-like priests, whose weapons of …
review by . September 08, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I honestly couldn't pass up using a title referencing this films over hype and failure to deliver. Quite honestly the entire time I was watching this all I could think was " This movie is missing something". So I'm not so good with the synopsis sum up, I actually hate writing it but this one is too easy to really work a brain cell on. The film is an adaption of the Korean comic which America sadly is getting extremely obsessed with a lot of asian film, anime, comics and so on especially …
review by . May 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
12A - Action/Horror/Sci-Fi - 6th May 2011 The only interesting thing with vampire films these days is trying to work out what kind of vampire your going to get and what rules have been thought up to govern them in the world. The vampires of Priest are actual gruesome monsters with sharp claws and fangs which makes a change from the usual humans with slightly bigger incisors. That being said, they do exist as the human-turned-vampire slaves to their true vampire masters. Based on Hyung Min-Woo …
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Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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About this movie


Priest, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller, is set in an alternate world -- one ravaged by centuries of war between man and vampires. The story revolves around a legendary Warrior Priest from the last Vampire War who now lives in obscurity among the other downtrodden human inhabitants in walled-in dystopian cities ruled by the Church. When his niece is abducted by a murderous pack of vampires, Priest breaks his sacred vows to venture out on a quest to find her before they turn her into one of them. He is joined on his crusade by his niece's boyfriend, a trigger-fingered young wasteland sheriff, and a former Warrior Priestess who possesses otherworldly fighting skills. Written by Screen Gems  
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Genre: Action, Horror, Thriller, Western
Release Date: May 13, 2011
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Cory Goodman
Runtime: 87 minutes
Studio: Screen Gems, Sony Pictures
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