Priest (2011)

I finally found myself in a place where a RedBox had something to offer me when they released Priest starring Paul Bettany, Karl Urban, and Maggie Q. Not that I went in expecting the movie to blow my mind, but I do find myself to be more fond of a simple, dumb action movie than the general populace, and that’s what I expected going in to this movie.

The first thing is a annoyance I’ve needed to get off my chest for a while. BluRay, you NEED to stop trying to sell me on the quality and awesomeness of BluRay WHILE I’M WATCHING A BLURAY MOVIE! What kind of sense does that make? I know you’re already watching one, but you should totally give BluRay a shot. I got it, I’m there, move on.

First, allow me to regale you with the conception (literally) of the movie Priest. Priest is what you get when you get Nosforatu into a 3-way with Tombstone and Dark City, then Nosforatu get’s pregnant, Tombstone and Dark City aren’t sure which one is the father, then they get mad and simultaneously kick Nosforatu in the pregnant belly and the baby, Priest, comes out retarded. It’s basically Van Helsing in the future.

Priest is the story of a dystopian future where vampires have become a huge menace. Humans get their ass kicked until these Priest people come along, trained in battle by Jesus I guess, and whoop up on the vampires, then they take them and put them into reservations (Which I guess the Native American’s aren’t using anymore). The vampires never get their casinos going, but the Priests do become irrelevant because the vampires are contained. Then, the vamps start making a comeback and kill this family and kidnap the daughter. The main Priest (Bettany) – who confusingly has no name other than Priest, even though that’s also the name of their group – is related to this family and goes against the Clergy to go find the daughter. He meets this gunman guy that loves the daughter and comes along with him. The Clergy gets all bitch-pissy and sends the other Priests after Priest. Maggie Q, who I guess is a nun, reaches Priest first and joins up with him. Turns out the big bad vamp is a former Priest turned vamp and played by Karl Urban dressed like a Steampunk Desperado. Then the vamps try to drive a train into the main city to take over and Priest, Nun, and other dude get to stop it and save the day … for Jesus!

The look of the vampires in this movie was strange to me. They were nowhere near as sexy as most movies and shitty teen-loved novels lead you to believe. They all look like Gollum with no eyes. They also have these familiars which aren’t really explained (as most of the movie’s plot isn’t) but I figure they’re humans that want to be vampires and are really ugly and look like Marilyn Manson changed their life. Karl Urban is as good as it gets in the vampire community, as I guess he’s the first human-vampire.

For a couple other comments about the movie, it seemed as most of the exposition was ADRed after the fact, either because they wanted to keep their “people getting onto motorcycles” scenes and just make them have a reason, or because they realized that without them no one would know what the heck was the plot of this thing after the filming was done. Also, there’s a scene where the gunman dude is holding a gun at the Priest because the Priest told him if the girl they were trying to rescue had been infected he would kill her. Priest says some touching words or whatever and the gunman lowers his gun. First off, why is everyone in these vampire and/or zombie movies so unable to comprehend the fact that the person they loved is now a vampombie and they won’t allow someone to kill them. That zompire will kill the shit out of you eventually in the movie for not getting that through your skull. The other thing is that, for me personally, if I get to a point where I pull a gun on someone, if I even allow them to get words out, they’d have to be mighty good to get me to lower that gun without a brand new hole being in that person. Also, as a positive shout-out, Maggie Q hits a mother fucker with a motorcycle! Nice.

So, I assume there was some attempt at commentary on the church going on in this movie, but I’m not sure what they were trying to say. See, the Clergy were a bunch of close-minded jerkfaces that want to just ignore the problem and act like it doesn’t exist, but on the other hand, the hero of the damn movie is a Priest … and a Nun and a gunman too, I suppose. So if there was a message there, I didn’t see it. But I only had to sit through like an hour and 20 minutes of this movie, so no big loss.

This isn’t that bad of a movie. Decent enough action scenes, lots of explosions and slo-mo, what seemed to be a really high production value on the scenery, and decent actors, but next to no story worth paying attention to. And if that bothers you, you probably don’t watch many action movies anyway. As a side note, I use the word “decent” too much as a reviewer and almost every time I type it, I type “descent” instead. Be forewarned before you read my eventual review of The Descent.

So, as with most action movies, this movie is a “meh”. Fun to look at, but make sure you shut your brain off while watching.