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PRIEST (2011)

Priest is set in an alternate reality where man has been at war with vampires since the beginning of time. Now in a Blade Runner meets the Vatican future, the church rules over the populace and the vampires’ threat is overcome by holy super soldiers, called Priests…or so they think. When the vamps rear their fangs again and the church is too arrogant to believe it, a rebellious Priest (Paul Bettany) goes to meet the threat himself, as his fellow Priests are sent to stop him.

Flick is directed by Scott Stewart from a script by Cory Goodman, based on a comic book mini-series of the same name by Min-Woo Hyung. At less than 90 minutes, this genre mash up doesn’t take much time to develop characters, or it’s cliché ridden story. It’s edited at a rapid fire pace and definitely looks like a patchwork of scenes from a much longer movie. Stripped down to bare bones, Priest is a lean mean action machine, but without a strong story or characters to endear ourselves, it’s a hollow machine. Priest makes good use of it’s moderate (by today’s standards) budget, although the CGI ranges from good to SYFY channel quality. The film does not make good use of a decent cast, including Karl Urban and Maggie Q, as their roles are paper thin. The action is fine, if unremarkable and director Stewart brings his flick in very by-the-numbers, giving no real energy to the proceedings or performances. There is some basic entertainment value, but the general feeling here is that this could have been so much more had the filmmakers aspired to deliver something less superficial than the two dimensional comic book we got. It looks good, at least here is that.

-MonsterZero NJ

2 and 1-2 star rating