Priest (2011)

Mindless debauchery of mediocre dialogue and visual effects making faith wander off without compromise!

Priest

Screen Gems in association with DMG Entertainment and Tokyopop present…

I eagerly waited for this movie so I will be able to say and justify Paul Bettany’s previous Legion should be redeemed since I do acknowledge his strong demeanor and versatility as an actor!

Based on a Korean comic which infuses a mix of supernatural and post-apocalyptic elements, Priest was actually intended more on Angels and Demons scenario and has in-depth analogy of God and his fallen angels. But the film was revised to a more Earth bound premise.

Director Scott Stewart (Legion) and Writer Cory Goodman still needs to show much more enthusiasm in the films they make not just based for imagination and to cut sequences because it was good enough for one take.

Opening scenes were a bit given, I knew for the fact that one of his comrades would be…let’s just say Fallen. It follows a brief animated excerpt of what is known throughout history: Man versus Vampires.

For years they have in constant battle and it made the world on its knees, on a defensive end, found wanting to hide in their own tribulations and weakness. So, they have built cities for walls and the Church for haven and sanctity. From here Priests were ordained, trained in the art of war against evil without comprehension, soldiers of the light the paved way to freedom and yet into their demise, disbandment for they are another reason to be feared by the populace.

Acting was sub-par and I do find it melodramatic and redundant for cheesy intros and one liners for the main protagonist and the supporting cast. I still moved on and carried the film. Mere fact is, I really get giddy with these films, lots of noir, grit, filled with imagination, design and backdrops that give more palpability in the plot and setting.

As for the production and Screen Gems, visual effects and a budget of $60 million I could say that it was a movie to be made with full of CGI since the lore and story has ambiguity in its settings. It was mediocre for my taste let alone the props and design department from skulls on sand, to green screen backdrops it made the film more a horror theme park ride instead. A bigger budget I guess or is it just wishful thinking…

For the cast, Cam Gigandet (Pandorum) as Sheriff Hicks who still needs some more acting credits but do can say is way better than Channing Tatum and Sam Worthington. The ever so lovely Maggie Q as Priestess (Mission Impossible III, Die Hard 4.0) is always a sight for sore eyes.

Christopher Plummer (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) plays Monsignor Orelas whose penchant for order has been in-line with chaos as well. From the Clergy, the vow states that “To go against the Church, is to go against God”, this can be with no absolution and its proclivities define mundane, manmade impositions that has left with doubt, generalization of law and religion.

Karl Urban (Star Trek XI) started the same with Paul but carried through the films that made tills robust with previous blockbuster films. He is also now in the lead role for the upcoming another comic based character…Judge Dread and it keeps getting better for this actor. I can’t help but put a smirk on my face when I see Karl’s character, it reminds me of Mr. Smith of the Matrix speaking in a raspy, low voice while uttering philosophical statements. Rendering he’s objectives and how his new found life can save the world of its uncleanliness.

I miss the time when Paul made headway and was starting in the film industry specifically in the Knight’s Tale with Heath Ledger (bless his soul), I’m still waiting to be impressed for yet another film to grace the screens and for Paul to be able to climb the ladder’s another step. Only have great supporting roles like in the Beautiful Mind and Iron Man but falls short in his lead acting.

I wish that the upcoming film in the same genre The Watch Tower will be given more attention to story and in detail (and a bigger budget), this is a dark, Western based film the connotes biased screenplay and script that should have been taken more into consideration by its creator Min-Woo Hyung.

Overall, it’s a C film still it proved that it can better even for Legion by the way. Same scenario that always ends up in a climactic battle between good and evil, invigorating moments, yes! but still a fall short for its quirky dialogue, lazy delivery, over the top final scenes which makes it more pedantic even for comic and movie geeks alike.

Priest definitely is neither Blade nor a Selena for that matter, but it’s a popcorn flick for me, entertaining but with high hopes left dry like a bitter taste in my mouth quenching for new blood (maniacal laughter).

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