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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good action film...
Despite some of the reviews, I quite enjoyed this vampire action movie and it looked great in it's 3D splendour, interlaced with comic book type graphics and futuristic styled backdrops. Paul Bettany plays his roll with sufficient gusto and ably assisted by the rest of the cast, and the fight scenes and special effects are well done for a movie of this genre. If newer...
Published 11 months ago by PF Cope

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Popcorn action-horror with Priest
Priest is a 2011 vampire movie starring Paul Bettany (Legion), Maggie Q (Die Hard 4.0, Mission Impossible III), Karl Urban (Doom, Chronicles of Riddick, Ghost Ship) and Cam Gigandet (Pandorum, The Unborn) and is based on the Korean graphic novel by Hyung Min-woo. I wasn't sure quite what to expect from this one. Having watched the trailer, I thought it looked ok but it...
Published on 16 July 2012 by John Milton


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good action film..., 24 April 2014
By 
PF Cope "Pamandlawrence" (Staffordshire, uk) - See all my reviews
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Despite some of the reviews, I quite enjoyed this vampire action movie and it looked great in it's 3D splendour, interlaced with comic book type graphics and futuristic styled backdrops. Paul Bettany plays his roll with sufficient gusto and ably assisted by the rest of the cast, and the fight scenes and special effects are well done for a movie of this genre. If newer style vampire films are your thing, then this should not disappoint, especially in 3D.
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48 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Name check the sources of inspiration with a knowing smile!, 8 May 2011
This review is from: Priest [DVD] (DVD)
Brazil. Dark City. Franklyn. Blade Runner. Equilibrium. The Matrix. Mad Max. Pitch Black. Underworld. Blade II. Constantine. The work of HR Giger and Westerns in general. If you are fans of these movies and the sci-fi/fantasy genre, plus the new wave of the quirky western mish-mash, then this is the movie for you. Director Scott Stewart, who also directed Paul Bettany in the religious horror shoot-em-up `Legion', delivers a shameless homage to all these movies whilst also blending something original into the mix. Out of the blend comes a highly enjoyable post-apocalyptic action picture that arrives at a frontier town of gunslingers, sheriffs and fraudulent moonshine salesman via a futuristic freight express train that thunders across a `cursed earth' familiar to any 2000AD reader.

An opening animated crawl that plays over the opening credits tells of great war between humans and vampires that, after the defeat of the vampire race, lead to humanity retreating inside walled-off Orwellian futuristic cities - administered by a ruling religious council and surrounded by the cursed earth. When a surprise re-appearance off a horde of salivating vampires attack a western-style homestead in the barren wasteland, killing the husband and wife custodians and kidnapping the daughter, The Priest (Paul Bettany) disobeys the dictats of the ruling council of elders and journeys off into the cursed earth on his aircraft engine-powered desert motorcycle to rescue her. He is accompanied by Hicks (Cam Gigandet), a young sheriff and fiancé of the kidnapped girl known as Lucy (Lily Collins). They encounter vampire `familiars', a Priest retrieval team sent to hunt them down and a terrifying vampire cowboy (who may or may not be the transformed former colleague of The Priest) who has returned with an evil agenda. There is also a suggestion that The Priest himself may also have a connection to the kidnapped girl, adding weight to his determination to track her down.

If you are a fan of the genre, you will be acutely aware that there are legions of people who will simply not understand the aesthetic of this style of motion picture. They will dismiss the movie as `rubbish' and be unable to fathom your interest or your delight. Ignore them and revel in your interests. I thought this movie was excellent and very creative. I could quite justifiably see the movie twice in cinemas and not consider it a waste of time or money. The cast are worthy of note: the husband and wife who don't survive the first reel are played by Stephen Moyer from True Blood and Madchen Amick whom you may remember from Twin Peaks from years ago. Christopher Plummer and Alan Dale (Yes! Jim Robinson from Neighbours!) head up the council of religious elders. Cam Gigandet (the lead evil vampire from Twilight) plays the honourable sheriff with grit and naïve strength, Maggie Q plays a member of the Priest retrieval team with controlled grace, and Karl Urban is a riot as the evil vampire cowboy known only as `Black Hat'!

Scott Stewart has produced a brilliant picture with Priest and has also made good use of the 3D camera system that helps to immerse you in the post-apocalyptic environment. It is somewhat of a relief to not have to sit through a botched 3D conversion that plagued 2010's Clash of the Titans. The CGI vampires are also suitably disgusting and resemble the eyeless denizens of hell seen previously in Constantine. I am hopeful a sequel to this movie will be produced in the near future. The post-script epilogue suggests there is still a story to be told. Great stuff!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Popcorn action-horror with Priest, 16 July 2012
By 
John Milton (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Priest [DVD] (DVD)
Priest is a 2011 vampire movie starring Paul Bettany (Legion), Maggie Q (Die Hard 4.0, Mission Impossible III), Karl Urban (Doom, Chronicles of Riddick, Ghost Ship) and Cam Gigandet (Pandorum, The Unborn) and is based on the Korean graphic novel by Hyung Min-woo. I wasn't sure quite what to expect from this one. Having watched the trailer, I thought it looked ok but it was pointed out to me by a dear friend that "You liked Van Helsing, of course you'll love that nonsense."

I enjoy horror, of course I do. I enjoy alternate history horror where artistic license has been taken with real events. Steampunk type adventures interest me too. However, what we have here with Priest is, at its base level, an action movie with a horror aspect rather than vice versa.

That is not to say I didn't enjoy it, far from it. As an action movie, I feel it stood up very well and reminded me at various points of a number of movies. The Priests and the setting for this film are effectively Judge Dredd (coincidentally, Karl Urban will be seen as Judge Dredd in 2012's Dredd) , The fight sequences are very much stylised martial arts coreography and the general feel is very much that of a Western. That enough of a mash-up for you?!

The vampires in Priest make a nice change from the usual bloodsuckers we see and are certainly far from the angsty sparkly nonsense of certain films. With Priest, the vampires are photosensitive cave dwellers who live in hives. Any human bitten by them either dies or becomes a familiar; they do not turn.

The cast here have done very well with the subject matter presented before them. Bettany is compelling as the tortured lead, Maggie Q holds her own as always, Urban is suitably sinister as the villain and Cam Gigandet is believable as the young lawman. However, there was no real depth to the characters and they all presented as very two-dimensional; ironic given that the release of the film was pushed back in order to allow it to be released simultaneously in 3-D; no real surprise since the director really cut his teeth as a Special Effects guy in the biz. There are nice turns from Christopher Plummer and Alan Dale; and horror favourite Brad Dourif turns up for a while too!

On a sidenote, Bettany seems to be getting typecast in these holy warrior roles now with Priest, his turn as the archangel Michael in Legion and as the creepy monk Silas in The Da Vinci Code.

There is really not much more for me to say about this move other than Priest is let down by a weak script that is used to merely transport the characters from one set piece or massive brawl; but viewing it as an action rather than horror movie, I guess it doesn't have to be the strongest given what it is meant to be; its simply popcorn for your eyes with no real substance.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A promising, original idea wasted as mercilessly and comprehensively as ravaged desolations of this alternate reality world..., 13 Jan. 2014
By 
Darth Maciek "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Priest [DVD] (DVD)
I was curious about this film and I really wanted to like it - but it proved to be simply impossible... Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

This film was based on a very original South Korean comic and therefore it was clear, that visual aspects would have to be the main asset - but it never means that one has to sacrify completly the scenario and especially the dialogs... Here, very sadly, it was exactly what happened and therefore if visually this film has many merits, the scenario, the dialogs and character development are beneath everything...

So, to get the story out of the way. In an alternate reality humans and vampires always shared the world and of course always were at war, as the latter considered the former mostly as source of food and occasionally also slave material. In this reality vampires are not undead monsters - they are living creatures, not exactly humanoid (they rather look like bears without fur and with gray skin) and they are devoided of eyes but clearly have some other senses unknown to man. They live in hives like termites and possess a collective mind, with the secretive Queens of the Hive being the supreme authority (albeit few people ever saw one and lived to describe it).

The vampires from this film are killed by sunlight, feed on human blood and with their bites are able to enslave people (those thralls are called Familiars) - but otherwise they are quite obviously very different from "classical" vampires. They do not fear crosses or holy water - on another hand they are vulnerable to regular weapons, but it is difficult to hit them because of their speed and they are also so powerfully build, that it takes a lot of effort to efficiently destroy one...

The war of humanity against the vampires was very long and it devastated the whole panet. It was ultimately won by humanity after the appearance of elite warriors, called Priests. Defeated, the vampires had to sue for peace and were allowed to keep a part of wastelands as their reservation. Humanity mostly retreated to the cities, under the totalitarian control of the Church (it is supposedly a Christian Church, but not necessarily exactly the Catholic Church as we know it). Some free humans survive also in small towns in the wastelands. Priests are no more really needed, therefore they do other work for the Church - but most of them are not very happy with their existence.

All of this is explained in the short and fast introduction and then the story begins, with a Priest (Paul Bethany) receiving alarming news about a possible vampire raid (the first in many, many years) against a human settlement - the one in which his brother Owen lives with his wife Shannon and daughter Lucy (Lily Collins). The news are brought by sheriff Hicks (Cam Gigandet) who was courting Lucy already for some time... Against the orders of Monsignor Orelas (Christopher Plummer), local leader of the Church, the Priest joins Hicks and leaves the city to look into this whole business and especially check if the raid was really the work of vampires... Later, a Priestess (Maggie Q) will also join the team... I will not say more about the story.

This could have been a reasonably good fantasy adventure film, but sadly it is not the case. As I already said, the scenario is poor, dialogs are lame, there is no humour and honestly, the story mostly doesn't make any sense, as people keep doing stupid things for no reason at all. The most illogical decisions are those taken by Monsignor Orelas who obviously is one of the bad guys, but I will be darned if I understand why...

The only thing that is honest in this film is the casting. Paul Bettany does all right as a taciturn holy warrior and it was a nice joke to make Cam Gigandet play a vampire hunter considering that he is for the moment mostly known as James the Sadistic Vampire from "Twilight" - but it is Maggie Q who does the best job in this film as Priestess, hopelessly (and so obviously) in love with the Priest...))) Christopher Plummer is of course a great actor and it is a pleasure to watch him, even if the actions of his character do not make the slightest sense. Lily Collins is a cute damsel in distress, Karl Urban plays the mysterious Black Hat, a guy who may or may not be in cahoots with the vampires and Brad Dourif makes a cameo as... well, the kind of guy who is usually played by Brad Dourif...))) But even this good casting can not save this film.

Bottom line, notwithstanding the presence of good actors, this film is a disappointment and I am glad that I rented rather than bought it. Honestly - you can skip this one without losing much.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An effective fusion of ideas, 18 May 2012
By 
Jules (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Priest [DVD] (DVD)
With all the poor reviews on Amazon for this film, i decided to avoid it. However, having just seen it for myself recently, i have to say i found it most enjoyable for an evenings viewing. It takes a lot of inspiration from a wide variety of films across various genres, with the likes of Judge Dredd, Mad Max, Alien, Blade Runner, Blade & Underworld , all with a western post-apocalyptic twist.

Paul Bettany (Master and Commander) leads the film as one of many Priests, but they are not like the Priests we know ourselves. These Priests are elite warriors, Ninja's in robes, who were chosen at young ages to be trained & fight the vampire horde. Set many years after this war, where the World has been turned into a post-apocalyptic existance. The vampires were defeated & locked away in prisons, with the remaning humans living in large prison like Cities (influenced from Judge Dredd) and protected by the Church, who act like the leaders of today, with the heirachy of the church determining rank. Others live in the wasteland, in towns of their own & governed in a wild west style with sheriffs.

Priest (Bettany) finds out his relation who lives in the wastelands, has been kidnapped by a mysterious group lead by a Clint Eastwood-esque clad villian (Karl Urban - Doom). Bound to his rank, Priest's request to find her is denied, but he defies his superior Monsignor Orelas (Christopher Plummer -Up) & sets out to bring her to safety. However, his journey is difficult & he finds himself coming face to face with an old enemy, he may have just met his match.

Overall i found Priest to be an enjoyable watch. It's not in the same league as some past classics like Blade Runner or Mad Max, but it certainly doesn't mind taking inspiration from them. The story is interesting & i found myself glued to the screen, not wanting to miss anything. Being a Sci-Fi post-apocalyptic action movie, the film relies heavily on CGI for the baddies & city settings, which it does well, although i didn't find the transformed vampires to be that scary. They looked like Resident Evil Lickers, but with fangs instead. The acting was well done & helped the film's various inspirations seem legit. Bettany was solid, kinda reprising his role from The Da Vinci Code. Karl Urban was a convincing baddie, MaggieQ (Nikita) , Lilly Collins (Mirror, Mirror) & Cam Gigandet (Pandorum) performed well.

In conclusion, Priest is not an epic movie, but it manages to take many ideas from various well loved classic sci-fi & horror fiction films, to create a very watchable piece of entertainment. Recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An Orwellian vampire movie, 5 Aug. 2011
By 
J. Morris "Josh" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Priest [DVD] (DVD)
Priest is Paul Bettany and director Scott Stewart's second outing, again with an apocalyptic religious theme, the first being 2010's rather weak Legion. Bettany plays Priest, a surviving member of the elite group of warriors trained by the church in order to take back the world from the vampire menace. With the world nearly destroyed in the ensuing war, turning the majority of the planet into wastelands, the remaining vampires are confined to reservations and the humans live in huge walled cities that blot out the sunlight with their pollution. Fearing the power of their own creation, the church orders the Priests disbanded and instead of a hero's welcome they are treated as outcasts.

When Priest's brother and his family are attacked by long-thought-diminished vampires in a remote farming outpost, Priest feels compelled to break his vow of peace and go against the instruction of the church to return to doing what he does best; slaying vampires en masse.

Priest plays out like a beautiful tapestry of other movies; it is heavily styled in a steam-punk-esque manner, has overtones of Equilibrium with the overbearing religious front for a totalitarian governmental system training Priests (Clerics) as instruments of war. There is also an oddly-suited western theme running throughout the dystopian future too; most of the attire is turn-of-the-20th-century stylings and the local authority & vampire clans are referred to as sheriffs and tribes respectively, even sporting the silver stars. The equipment also is worth a mention, the turbine-motor-bikes look brilliant and the Priests equipment is fantastic; crucifix throwing stars and rood blades - This attention to detail is probably due to the fact this is based on a Manga series of the same title and probably has been lifted straight from the pages of the graphic-novel but I'm not familiar with the series so can't really say.

Regardless, the film is a fantastic mish-mash of other cinema & literature (Orwell for the walled-cities and religious governmental structure and Justin Cronin's The Passage for the wastelands & vampires) but somehow comes across as unique. The supporting cast are more than capable, Karl Urban is the vampire-human hybrid Black Hat and makes a great bad guy.

Priest was panned by critics and didn't fare too well on release, but it's a definitely worth a watch if you like dystopian cinema and/or vampire movies!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you liked the Blade trilogy, you'll love this..., 23 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Priest [DVD] (DVD)
I've got a feeling - or maybe just a hope - that if there's a god, this will become a bit of a future cult classic. I watched this film after reading all the panning critical reviews and really wasn't expecting much. Having watched so many rapturously received films of late, and only to be disappointed, this turned out to be a thoroughly unexpected and entertaining thrill ride. I must concur with the other reviewers when they say if you liked Blade, Equilibrium and top-notch spaghetti westerns in general , then rack up a few beers, pull up your comfiest chair, sit back and enjoy the ride. Just when you thought Mr Bettany had lost all his marbles starring in another quazi-religious apocalyptic CGI fest after Legion, he turns out this little unexpected gem. The gods were genuinely with him this time, and to think I nearly gave it a miss!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great vamp pack fim, 3 May 2014
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This review is from: Priest [DVD] (DVD)
The dvd came before due date it was in 1st class condition plays grate the film is for vampire film lovers not the best vamp film but paul Bettany gives a great performance so I am 1 happy punter give the sellers a chance there bob on .

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Deadly Vampires - "Prey" for the Priest, 9 May 2012
By 
J Brackell (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Priest is a science-fiction vampire movie, set in an alternate future, where mankind has been fighting with vampires for generations. With the church and religion as a foundation for their society, mankind develop a sect of warriors imaginatively named `Priests', who manage to destroy the vampires in a war, resulting in many of the Priests becoming retired. It is only when the threat of vampires rears its ugly head that society realises that they need their protectors again.

The first thing that comes to mind when watching Priest is how similar the setting looks to Mega City One from the Judge Dredd comics. I guess there's not too much room for individuality when it comes to massive fenced-in post-apocalyptic cities surrounded by radioactive deserts, but I did keep thinking how cool it would be if Judge Dredd just showed up, which is ironic since Karl Urban (who is set to star as Judge Dredd in the new motion picture) was in the film as the lead villain.

The film opens up with a visually striking two-minute animation which depicts the history of the Priests and their subsequent retirement, forced to take menial tasks in an effort to fit in with the society they protected and who now fears them. This animation looked amazing in the 3D Blu-Ray version that I watched, with added depth and clarity given to the usually flat animated style. I find that animation tends to fare better with the 3D transfer, but the actual live action scenes were also effective in 3D. There were several moments where ash flew towards the screen and almost felt like it was in my bedroom! Sony's 3D effects seem to be the best I've experienced, as this along with Monster House, have been very effective.

Paul Bettany stars as the un-named Priest, taking up yet another religious role after his appearances in The Da Vinci Code & Legion. He doesn't seem to inject his character with any real charm or personality, preferring to stare broodingly and mutter at his companions. I quite liked Cam Gigandet as Hicks, who seemed to provide the viewers point of view to the foreign world of the Priests.

My biggest complaint of the movie was the setting - the initial ten minutes or so were in the dense, futuristic metropolis which would have made a visually stunning location for vampire battles, but the locale is quickly shifted to the desert and underground hives, which didn't seem as atmospheric to me. I think more could have been done about the hierarchy of the human society and the class structure between the Priests, the Monsignors and the general public. It just seemed to descend too quickly into a standard post-apocalyptic monster movie, without any real subtext.

I haven't read the original manga series upon which the film is based, so I am unsure just how close to the source material this adaptation has been, but it seems like this initial movie was crafted to open the door for a potential sequel. Hopefully, a sequel would expand upon this universe with the religious order ruling the people and craft a more interesting movie, set within the city walls.

Overall, this wasn't a bad film, but it seemed to lack any real spark, with a less-than-charismatic leading character, whose uniqueness was summed down to a cross-shaped tattoo on his face. Other than that, he was a fairly standard monosyllabic action hero, who wouldn't stick in the audience's memory for that long after seeing the film.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Priest - Blue Ray, 18 Oct. 2011
Dark entertaining sc-fi with an interesting twist on a post apocalyptic future ruled by the church in closed cities. The vampiric creatures that inhabit the waste lands are reminiscent of resident evil's creations... great fun!
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