It’s easy to understand the skepticism the public market hurled at Scott Charles Stewart’s, Priest. The film is a strange consolidation of post-apocalyptic action sequences, martial arts flash and indious terror. Not exactly an easy sell, especially to your typical consumer.
Priest’s lack of an impact at the box office isn’t a genuine indication as to the actual quality of the picture. In fact, as outlandish as the film is, it’s swift in delivery, smooth in action and believable on the acting front.
This specific vampire mythos differs from your traditional origin: the vampires of Priest weren’t once human, in any capacity. While there have been plenty of past offerings that follow a milar structure, it’s not the norm to spot vampires portrayed as featureless beasts. Even those (of other productions) who aren’t born of human descent still tend to appear human; not so in this case.
I must confess, I'm completely foreign to the graphic novel from which this tale of outcast priests and freakish monstroties is based. Therefore, my opinion on the story may differ drastically with the opinions of others, especially if you happen to be familiar with the graphic novel, and it just so happens to differ gnificantly from the film. But, the fact that I can find valuable entertainment in the tale without knowing the true source says something itself, and I personally feel that commentary is potive.
While the CGI is heavy, and not always the most aesthetically pleang display, it’s serviceable, and superior to plenty of today’s heavily computer enhanced films. But honestly, the CGI in a sense, fades into the background, as the allure of Priest’s pending confrontation with the mysterious new ruler of vampires is a more engaging plot point, despite the fact that the flick’s opening sequence pretty much ruins any true mystery behind the supposed unknown villain.
All the same, Paul Bettany is amazing, and could quite posbly, make shit shine. We’re talking about a man who stands 6’3”, can’t weigh a shade over 175 pounds, but manages to emit a heroic essence like few others in today’s industry can. His subtle vocal delivery and confidence in front of the cameras is an honestly rare ght these days. I thought it could perhaps be a fluke after Legion, but Priest certainly proves that Paul is a perfect horror fit.
The remaining cast members manage to provide fair support. Cam Gigandet, Karl Urban and Maggie Q round out our ensemble, and each put forth commendable performances, even if not award worthy. Coincidentally, much like Legion, Paul is the obvious show stealer here, but he’s not basking in the light of successful performances completely alone.
Priest won’t win over every heart to dedicate an hour and a half to this picture, but those who get a kick out of action/horror hybrids and new attempts on old tales, will likely find Priest a worthy investment. For my money, Bettany’s performance alone merits the purchase and promotion.