At one point, I remember Paul Bettany was a promising actor. Now he just seems to turn up in roles as either a man of the cloth, an angel or a mixture of both. The films he plays these characters in, also tend to be very poor when it comes to storytelling and actual entertainment, “Priest” is no different.
After what seemed like three separate openings, it finally becomes hazily clear that in the history of the world the film takes place in, humans and vampires have been feuding for centuries and there was a great war. The war ended when the Priests showed up and kicked some ass. The Priests are super human killing machines that really dislike vampires. Now, years after the war, the Priests have been forced to disband, the church has taken control over walled in cities where apparently they don’t allow the sun to shine (that was never truly explained in any way) and whatever vampires are left, are kept in reservations (which are more like prisons). During the films third opening, a family is attacked by vampires who kidnap a young girl, played by Lily Collins, daughter of Phil Collins (maybe because the vampires are big fans of Sussudio). It turns out the family is related to the former Priest played by Paul Bettany and the girl’s boyfriend comes to the Priest for help.
Not one inkling of “Priest” is in any way original or interesting. The vampires look like the lickers from Resident Evil Games, the main city was copied and pasted from “Blade Runner” and the villain was wearing Hugh Jackman’s “Van Helsing” costume, which is the wrong place to steal something from. Every part of the story felt incomplete and misguided. In the world the film takes place in, Paul Bettany can ride on a motorcycle that moves as fast as 260 M.P.H. without flying off the thing or or having issues walking when he gets off of the jet engine he straddles to ride it. Not to mention at that speed we shouldn’t even be able to see him as he passes a monument that is no where near a mile long based on his size, next to it. You also figure that if they can put the technology into a motorcycle to move that fast, they could do the same for a train, but the heroes of the film have no issue catching up to a train that is about a day ahead of them and hasn’t stopped.
The only thing worthwhile in the whole film is Christopher Plummer who is in it for a total of 6 minutes at best. That is the only reason the film gets even one ‘stache. “Priest” also enters the already overflowing halls of movies not shot in, but transferred to 3D that is in no way 3D at all. People will just pay extra money to see a bad film while wearing glasses. You can easily watch this film without the glasses, except the background may be a bit blurry, but since there are so many close up shots of every character, they are clear as day without the glasses. If you go see “Priest” try it out, when any character is shown close up, take off the glasses and look.
“Priest” is not worth your time or money, plain and simple.