***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!
Priest - 3 out of 5
I've read a couple of the graphic novels this film is an adaptation of but I wouldn't call myself a dedicated reader. However, I've read enough of them going into it that I was mostly familiar with the property's mythology. So, when the trailers came out I wouldn't say I was overly excited to see it but there was a very definitive desire to go and see this one in the theaters. However, being a poor man that I am, I didn't get a chance to see it but I did read the horribly scathing reviews it got. Judging by the 17% it has on Rotten Tomatoes, I sat down expecting to see Catwoman but, instead, I found a mildly entertaining film that, for the most part, I feel was unjustly burned by the critics.
Priest takes place in an alternate world that looks like the bi-product of a sweaty night between steampunk and a spaghetti western where mankind and a non-sparkling and actually threatening version of vampires are at war. In an effort to stop the madness, the church (really, the church is trying to stop madness? I thought that's what they were built upon) gathers a group of warriors to take on this threat and save humanity. However, a victim of a failed attack from days passed ends up unburied from the past to reek new havoc on the world of men with a seemingly unstoppable army of vamps.
Paul Bettany plays the hero of the film and that, right off the bat, spells awesome. Bettany is a fantastic actor and recently showed that he can be a legitimate bad-ass. His starring role as the warrior of the cloth also lends an air of humor to the film because Bettany is an atheist. That aside, he did a great job and matching him on the other side of the film's coin, playing the film's antagonist is Karl Urban as a slick monster in a duster and wide-brim hat raining chaos on the wastelands of the film's world.
The movie offers up great action sequences, tight editing and a very slick presentation with fantastic special effects, costumes and set design. However, the film doesn't have much in common with the graphic novel and that can alienate fans of the series. The movie also doesn't have much in the story department as it isn't much different from some other films that are out there. Vampires have become the dead horse that Hollywood is beating into oblivion.
These minor complaints aside, the film is entertaining enough to check out but not enough to do so again. Paul Bettany and Karl Urban are great in their roles but a lack of decent characters around them and Cam Gigandet phoning it in as the character of Hicks really hurts the film. But that shouldn't be surprising since Gigandet was in Twilight. It's not like that film was looking for talent. It also seems that the filmmakers behind this one were trying to fill the supporting roles with people who've been in other vampire-related media as it also has Bill from True Blood making a small appearance. Overall, Priest isn't the best comic book adaptation that's been put out there but it isn't the worst either. Even though the film diverges a great deal away from the comic series, the film is still mildly entertaining.