Saturday, May 14, 2011

ReviewsByJames: Priest (2011)

Priest (2011)

Paul Bettany works with director Scott Stewart once again in a religious war between Good and Evil.  Unlike their previous project, Legion, this one involves man versus vampires.  I have not read the graphic novels but I heard they are really good.  The action sequences are constructed rather well but there are scenes that are just impossible.  He's a Priest, not super-human, just a human like you and I.  Especially for the lawman Hicks, played by Cam Gigandet, who is thrown from a train going 100 mph, only to dust off his coat off and continue with the battle.  Karl Urban as Black Hat is hard to take seriously.  Aside from his cheesy bad guy one liners, he did not have that presence as being the ultimate villain.  Bettany, however, was more easier to take seriously.  I've grown to like him as an actor since 2001's A Knight's Tale.  He played the lead role of Priest very well. His portrayal as being adamant of locating the kidnapped Lucy played by Lilly Collins was believable.  One thing I truly enjoyed in this film is Maggie Q.  I am a sucker for girls kicking butt in action flicks. No wonder her show Nikita has been on my favorite list as of late.  As for her role in this movie, I enjoyed her scenes more than Gigandet.  She comes off as a natural female action star.  She makes all of her action scenes to look believable and at one moment she had me cheering for her as she continually kicked vampire ass.  Now to Gigandet...did he even have to be in this movie? I find myself asking that question in every movie I've seen him in.  His acting was not up to par with a veteran like Bettany.  Lilly Collins (daughter of singer Phil Collins) was your typical damsel in distress waiting to be rescued.  I'm just glad they did not portray her as the helpless girl that ends up kicking butt.  And finally, the vampires...more like gooey covered Spider-Man-like with big teeth.  I thought vampires were human-like in appearance.  But I guess it's a good twist from everyone's typical perceptions of how vampires should look like.  The score was over the top and at times, unnecessary.  Stewart's view of a dusty desert-like, western post-apocalyptic war fit well into the feel of the movie. I truly enjoyed the movie but the end was missing something.  It's like eating a Tootsie Roll Lollipop. You keep eating the hard candy shell but never get to the center chocolaty Tootsie Roll.  But then it's just natural for that feeling when there's a tease for a sequel.  Overall, from not knowing a thing about the movie (even though a graphic novel is published), I liked it.  Not one of my favorite vampire flicks but good enough for me to say, "not bad--I'll watch the sequel". Scott Stewart, well done, sir. Please do not disappoint me with your next project, Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments. 7/10.



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