UK Release date: 6th May 2011
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 5th February 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
This is one of those films that got slammed by the critics and didn’t do all that well at the box office. I did still want to see it though. Having never read the graphic novels I was totally open to what the film had to offer; I knew there was a sci-fi element to it (very obvious from the trailer) and I guess it is that which attracted me. Anyhow, having watched, and enjoyed, it I’m very happy to add it to my growing list of ‘guilty pleasures’. I will tell you more after this brief summary.
Set in a future where the world had been overrun by vampires and the only weapon humanity had was ‘The Priests’, a group of people with super-human abilities that match and surpass those of the vampires. When the war was won and the vampires locked away the church disbanded the Priests and took away their status. After his niece, Lucy, is kidnapped by a renegade band of vampires one of these priests disobeys his superiors and goes out into the wastelands to find her. He meets a law man, Hicks, who knows his niece and wants to come along to find her. The priest agrees and they are soon on the trail. They discover the vampires have been busy in the wastelands and they are more of a threat than they ever were. They have a new leader, a former Priest, Black Hat, who is something very different and very special. A priestess is sent out to find our priest and bring him back, but she ends up joining their fight. Will they find Lucy before it’s too late? Well, you probably guessed I can’t answer that one here or the Spoiler Police (Priest Division) will be setting their sights on me (again).
A well made film with some very nice CGI and gadgetry, a lot of care obviously went into this aspect. Performance-wise, well everyone was pretty good actually; Paul Bettany was as good as ever as Priest, Karl Urban was mean, moody and menacing as Black Hat, Cam Gigandet did a decent job as Hicks and Maggie Q was also good as the Priestess. Honourable mentions go to; Lily Collins as Lucy Pace and Christopher Plummer as Monsignor Orelas.
There is a very good animated sequence at the beginning of the film that nicely sets up the history behind the storyline. I thought it was very well done and saved a lot of time in the narrative of the film itself. Talking of time, I thought the length of the film was just right; at just under 90 minutes there’s not enough time to get bored as the action does move along at a decent pace. One thing it did suffer from though was its 12 (or 12A in cinemas) certificate, I don’t see how you can make a half-decent action movie and keep the violence down to that level. For me it tamed it down a little too much and I would have liked to have seen at least a 15 certificate version. I watched it in 2D, 3D is lost on me… I don’t see the point of it I’m afraid. I have no religious affiliations and so was not offended by references made to the church. I know some might be, so please bear this in mind if you feel inclined to watch it. Over all, despite a few niggles; I quite enjoyed this film and would happily watch it again at some point. For me, it’s recommended, but I know there are many out there who may disagree.
My score: 6.8/10.
IMDb Score: 5.7/10 (based on 39,510 votes at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 17/100 (based on 90 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 37/100 (based on 48,431 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
Priest: [Hicks has finally grown a pair and saves Priest's life] You would have made a good priest.
Priest: [Small pause] Don't let it go to your head!
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://www.sonypictures.com/homevideo/priest/
Official Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/PriestMovie
Official Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PriestMovie?sk=app_107916972622270