Saturday, 14 May 2011


There are some actors who are forced upon regular frequenters of the cinema and no matter how hard you try you cannot escape their constant presence. In contrast there are actors at the other end of the scale - those who don’t appear in many films per year but exert enough class to warrant excitement whenever they do give us a weekend off from the latest blah starring blah blah blah.

In case it wasn’t clear from the above - today I went to see Paul Bettany in Priest.

PLOT: The age old battle between humans and vampires is still going strong in the dusty future. Due to what I presume were budgetary issues within the Roman Catholic Church they embark on a major internal restructure in which Priests are reassigned and retrained as warriors with slight superhuman powers. There is no mention of the army. The head priest aptly named Priest (Paul Bettany) fought gallantly in the war with the only black spot being the apparent death of Black Hat (Karl Urban). Priest starts using the word “Familiar” to describe human vampire supporters and this reminds me of Blade 2 which in turn reminds me of Norman Reedus and once again thoughts wander onto crossbows and general badassery (not that I am obsessed or anything).


Black Hat kidnaps Priest’s daughter and teams up with sidekick Hicks and Female Unrequited Love Priest (Maggie Q) in order to stop the vampires which are headed by the 2nd most attractive Familiar in existence. There are hints that the Catholic church may or may not be corrupt. Paul Bettany has the most American accent in American History. There are no sinister ministers here but knife wielding warriors. Karl Urban has about three lines but conveys emotion through moving his black hat in a sexy manner.

Priests 1 vs. Vampires 0 vs. Catholic Church -1 END PLOT

Humans vs. Vampires isn’t an original concept but there are times when execution trumps originality. This wasn’t one of them.

Priest is very much run of the mill - the only original aspect of the plot is that it is completely devoid of originality.

The cinema was only showing Priest in 3D so we had no choice but to fork out the extra £2.00 for our viewing pleasure. The 3D experience allowed us to watch the Captain America trailer in 3D and to see some falling ash in Priest. If you have the choice 2D is the way to go although the clever choice would be to skip this film altogether.

Other than the non existent 3D Priest looked exactly how you would expect a post apocalyptic film to look - dusty, old fashioned and futuristic. The woman wear old fashioned dresses, denim no longer exists, baddies ride dirt bikes and goodies ride pimped up nitro fuelled super future bikes.

Black Hat is the only human vampire as the rest are dodgy CGI which made the vampires in I Am Legend seem lifelike. His name was never mentioned in the film so I had to go to IMDB in order to figure this out - first time I have ever researched a blog.

Everything about Priest looked cheap, basic and outdated. The effects were basic - too basic for the cinema

Priest is the second film Paul Bettany and the director Scott Stewart have made together and I hope it is the last. Bettany is too good an actor to be slumming it with an inferior filmmaker - the sooner he gets over the notion that he is an action star the better.

Bettany was fine as Priest although the American accent didn’t work as it sounded completely unnatural and he gave off the impression that he was concentrating a little too hard on his lines.

Karl Urban is becoming an actor to watch out for and in Priest he was very good with the little he was given to do. He had the act of slowly lifting his hat wearing head in a sinister fashion down to a fine art. He does look good in cowboyish clothing and with that stubble he may make a very good John Marston if they ever made a Red Dead Redemption film.

The rest of the cast headed by Maggie Q were all okay. The film was so short no one really got a moment to shine.

There are some films which start great and fade towards the end, there are some films which are okay but waste so much potential and there are some films which are just bad.

Priest is in the final category - it was a way to kill 88mins but this is a bad film. Its only saving grace is that the CGI vampires didn’t sparkle. Priest gets a 4/10.

If Guillermo del Toro made Priest is would have been awesome although it may have been another Blade 2 which was the weakest spot in a career of greatness although it did have Norman Reedus..........…….crossbows.................distraction.........


  1. arn't there any cowboy show dabbed blast it lol god bless

  2. Thanks for reading as always Roy :-)

  3. I'mwith on 3-D beiing over rated. I also refuse to fork out extra on something that is somewhat uninspired. It always sucks having to see to something you'd rather not when faced with little choice. I think back over the years to some of the garbage I've seen when faced with that or nothing.
    Karl Urban is a Kiwi making good in the land of Hollywood! He seems to get better and better with each new outing. I like the fact that he comes home and stars in local films, he hasn't taken on any airs or graces over his stardom.

  4. The fact that I had no choice but to see Priest in 3D makes the lack of 3D worse!

    Karl Urban is very likeable although he is still an actor that pops up in things rather than me actively seeking him out. If he keeps on going the way he is that will change sooner rather than later!

    Thanks for reading! K :-)

  5. Sounds like I chose wisely in my choices this past weekend. I agree with you that about Bettany, he’s a damn good actor but has made some confusing choices. Urban I really like and hope he shows up in a lot more stuff, he’s got a charm about him. Shame Maggie Q didn’t have much to do from the sounds of it. As for the 3D, when it’s done properly it’s can be lots of fun, this sounds like they just did it to do it which it adding anything, a shame.

  6. I would still choose Priest over Bridemaids ;-)

    Maggie Q just moped around after Paul Bettany although she did have one tiny little set piece but nothing worth getting excited about

  7. I have just remembered (ever the professional!) that the opening credits for Priest were actually quite cool.

  8. I cannot believe you saw this is May and it has only just opened here today! I was sceptical about it and pretty much got what I expected. But I think it better than Cowboys and Aliens!!
    Funny thing is it had no trailers played at all and yet for weeks Insidious had posters out and it missed us. Like you I was agrieved at forking out extra for 3-D and not being given the option not to. At 88 mins the extra was a rip off I'm afraid.

  9. I saw it in May then completely forgot about it!

    Karl Urban was the best thing in this