The story is basic, in an alternate world where humanity has always been at war with vampires. These vampires are not handsome and glitter covered, they are large slimy and eyeless monster. Mankind didn’t really stand a chance until super powered badasses showed up called Priests. Taking their orders from the Church they battled the vampires almost to extinction. Then the church disbanded the Priests. This story is cool and interesting, too bad that’s not what the movie is about. What I just explained to you is shown to us in a beautiful animation during the beginning credits. The rest of the plot follows a Priest played by Paul Bettany, after his niece is kidnapped he goes against the churches orders, teams up with a local sheriff and hunts down the vampires/people that have her.
This movie would be easy to write off if it just wasn’t so cool. The world the create is a mix of a western and a dark gothic future world. Bettany is just so comfortable with being the quiet bad ass here it seems like you somehow know this character even as we’re introduced to him. The movie also moves in a crisp flowing motion, there are never really moments in which the film is slow or boring. Now the film is based off a Korean Manga, but fans of that series should expect a different beast here.
The story is pretty epic with Priest and crew going into what they think are dead “nests” and finding big nasty vampire beasts. Karl Urban plays the lead villain. He was once a Priest that got turned into a vampire. He’s a straight bad ass with a hard one for revenge against the Church and the other Priests. Still his character only gets moments on screen and his back story is only lightly hinted at, I frankly wanted more. He’s still a lot of fun though. The vampires themselves act like dogs and don’t have much back story because they don’t need them. There are some great scares in this film too which adds to the fun factor.
The main issue with Priest is it’s story. It’s very basic and when it tries to have twists or big reveals, well the audience is way ahead of the curve. Half way through I knew why Priest was so dedicated to getting his niece back, I also understood why the Sheriff was so interested. Still at the end of the film these reveals are big plots points that just seem like a waste of time. The film also kind of pushes through the characters making connections, everyone just seems to quickly move past emotional walls. I get it’s an action film with a B-Movie vibe, but it didn’t have to just drift past actual character elements, it would have made the final product a lot stronger. Still as a vampire movie it’s one of the better one’s that has come out recently. Also my favorite thing about the film is the action scenes. The film does not do shaky cam or avoids watching the action, we see it in all it’s glory and frankly it allowed me to have a lot of fun with the movie and I left happy as a vampire at a blood bank.