Monday, 6 February 2012


I was interested in the title Priest not having learned much about the content other than it involved creatures described as vampires although these are animal like creatures.

The film takes place in a parallel universe in which human beings live in a city without sunlight are subject of a Catholic type order who require obedience and regular confessions using visual Internet communication.

In the prologue a group of specialist “priests” trained to kill the creatures are deployed to finish off those remaining creatures by removing the last known Queen. The so called priests are in effect an elite order of fighters trained in martial arts of both sexes who are sworn to the service and celibacy. In this Mission Paul Bettany as the “Priest” fails to held onto a comrade who slips down into chasm below and is presumed dead after the team have been caught in trap but part from the one death they are successful in their mission. For some reason they do not have ropes with them or others to check their colleague is dead and to retrieve his body.

In fact I do not understand why the Mission was ended at this point and they and their superiors believe the creatures had been eliminated. However the elite corps were not just disbanded on return to the City but sidelined because the impression is given that the leader of the Council of Monsignors Christopher (South of Music) Plummer feared they would become a threat to the established order and their power continuing.

Some distance outside the city as in all similar stories there is the waste land with prisons containing outcasts being infected by the vampires but not killed or eaten as well as other developments, civilian outposts including Sheriff administrators/lawmen.

Here we find a family comprising husband wife and daughter, the latter a rebel with a tendency to make visits on her into town (where she has established a relationship with the local Sheriff who has a resemblance to Brad Pitt (Cam Gigandet as Sheriff Hicks, although we only learn this after a scene where suddenly a tribe of vampire animals appear and in a scene reminiscent of Somewhere over the Rainbow and a number of other films there is a storm/defence cellar. The woman is killed and husband survives in a bed ridden condition and the daughter has been taken which suggest there is a purpose to the raid as yet to be revealed as well as someone who would know or knew about the panic room cellar.

In the City Sheriff Hicks arrives to advise Priest of the attack on his brother and the taking of the daughter, a young woman he loves. Priest appears to reject the request to help but in fact he needs permission which he seeks from the Council of Monsignors but although he has a supporter Plummer is adamant that there are no more vampires and it was an attack by renegade outlanders.

Priest decides to become an outlaw and a team of former priests are brought together to follow and arrest him including a former admirer of his Maggie Q as Priestess,,

Checks out the home of his brother and meets up with Sheriff Hicks and they join forces and we have another familiat situation where the night is used to prepare doctored bullets with the Holy Crosses. They enter a prison of affected and renegades where the guards appears to have abandoned their duties. The explanation is that the community is now controlled by vampires working with the former inmates who are allowed to live their lives as they now wish.

At some point we learn that the girl has been captured by the former Priest comrade who was believed to have fallen to his death who later we learn was recovered by the Queen vampire who turned him into a human vampire with combined powers which makes him invincible against humans and he has a master plan to take over and “cleanse“ the known world. As is the case with this type f film the known worlds is a small one restricted to an area conveniently in the United States.

There are various conflicts before the duo is joined by the Priestess, work out that a minor army of creatures has been formed and broken out of the hive under the cover of darkness towards an outland town where they kill everyone in sight and also crucify on a trio of crosses the priests who had stationed themselves in the town in the search for their outlawed former comrade. The vampires had disappeared and the trio after marking the loss of their colleagues work out that they have hijacked a mining train with metal container wagons to protect from the daylight which means the army is next heading for the capital city which because it is undercover from sunlight offers no protection from the Vampires.

They devise a plan for priestess to blow up the train while Priest and Sheriff attempt to rescue the daughter. It has been revealed that she is Priest’s daughter and he had been taken to be trained in his role when she was a baby. There is still potential conflict between Priest and Sheriff if the girl has become infected. Priestess is chased by a posse of affected motorcycle riders on space age vehicles which can travel at 250k a hour.. Unfortunately in the following battle the detonator is destroyed so Priestess attaches the explosives to her machine and heads for the train. Sheriff confronts some of the hive who are able to function within the storage cars and eventually there is a confrontation between the former colleagues who argues the Vampire are creatures of truth and beauty and this si why he is using them to cleanse the city(ies) of their corruption.

In the climax the train blows up in spectacular fashion killing the human vampire but all four of the others miraculously survive. The girl and Sheriff ride off into sunset and Priest attends a service of the Monsignors to report he was right and they need to prepare for further attacks as the Queen remains alive. He continues to be disowned and goes for to campaign with Priestess and those they can persuade to act with them, thus heralding a sequel. It is there a below standard film reshoot in 3D but not in a distracting way. I rated it only 5 out of 10

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