Priest stars Paul Bettany as a Priest who lives in a post-apocalyptic world where humans and vampires have been warring for centuries. Priests are the last line of defense against vampires. All of the priests who helped stop vampires were doomed to go back to normal society after the war ended because the church didn’t want fear instilled in its citizens. Paul Bettany’s priest is sent on a rescue mission to save a teenager who he is related to. The priest decides the only way to save the girl is to kill the vampires who captured her.
This film did nothing for me. I wanted to be invested in the religious concept that the movie was selling but I’ve seen it done so much better in previous films. One of the concepts in the film was an automated religious confession booth. The concept of that confession both was pioneered way back when THX-1138 premiered in 1971. All of the neo-noir city environments showcased in Priest were utilized better in Blade Runner. I think the action sequences were subpar when compared with scenes from other summer blockbusters like Thor and the fourth entry in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Paul Bettany’s Priest isn’t even a character that the audience can grow to feel anything for because he lacks any and all emotion. This may be what causes the film to fail. If the audience can’t see what he is feeling how are we supposed to care about whether he succeeds or fails throughout the movie? Priest is director Scott Stewart’s second collaboration with actor Paul Bettany, the first was the negatively received Legion. Scott Stewart is mostly known as a visual effects artist and in my opinion, that is the profession he should have stayed in. In a sense, the priest is virtuous and dedicated to the church for all the wrong reasons. Sadly, Priest made me dedicate my time for all the wrong reasons. I’m going to have to say 6 Hail Mary’s and 10 Our father’s just to beg to be forgiven for having to sit through a film that uses religion for profit.