go against the church is to go against God.
the mantra that were
subjected to, over and over, during the first quarter of Priests
running time. This is a dark industrial world, ruled by an autocratic
religious government who work their subjects to the bone.
(Paul Bettany) was once a warrior for the all-powerful church, but he
has been retired thanks to the defeat of their enemies, the vampires.
Those that still exist have been driven into internment camps, far out
way. Most of the human population survives inside giant walled cities,
where their lives are tightly controlled by the church. But the church
count on their retired Priest picking up his old weapons when he
suspects that the people are being misled. Responding to a plea for
help, he leaves the city for the wild frontier, where settlements are
scattered across a bleak arid landscape.
local Sheriff Hicks (Cam Gigandet), Priest does some digging ands finds
out that his niece has been kidnapped by vampires and imprisoned on
their armoured train. While he is searching for her, the church has sent
out its own agents to stop him finding out the truth.
visual spectacle, Priest is quite impressive. The weapons, vehicles and
locations are all rich in detail. The setting is dark
industrial-meets-western-steam punk, with many different elements going
into the mix. The makers of Priest have done an excellent job at
creating a stylised futuristic environment, which is for the most part
scenes have a strong comic book feel to them, and are all excellently
Unfortunately, the production falls down in a few areas. The transitions
between scenes are very jarring, and it often feels like weve
been dumped into a new story arc or location with little context. At the
end of most scenes the music builds to a crescendo, which completely
happening on screen and seems excessive.
the most part, the dialogue is colourless and flavourless. Paul Bettany
and Maggie Q get a pass for their performances, but the other actors
struggle to find their rhythm with the material theyre
a varied and interesting visual journey, with both deep shadows and
bright desert exteriors. The animated into sequence is well designed, a
tip of the hat to Priests
graphic novel origins. As previously said the musical score can be
overpowering, but there also some great atmospheric sounds in the mix:
wind, engines, explosions, etc. The 3D effects are showcased in several
scenes, such as when Priests
bike travels under a rocky pillar or when he hurls throwing stars into
and crucifixes: This is basically an audio commentary, using
picture-in-picture rather than a simple voice-over.
Commentary: Director Scott Stewart, Writer Cory Goodman and stars Paul
Bettany and Maggie Q add their thoughts on the production.
and extended scenes: Most of these were omitted with good reason, but
the extended ending is worthwhile.
Frontier: The pick of the special features, this one talks about the
creation of the unique world and characters.
the trade: The crew take us through some of the highly impressive props
used in the movie.
end, an interesting mythos and some great visual effects arent
enough to lift Priest above
status. The poor execution, the lack of a killer script and characters
that are hard to care about ultimately sour the deal.