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Priest clashes with vampires

 | May 23, 2011

A vampire race is staging a comeback with a vengeance and only a priest can slay them.

MOVIE REVIEW

(Priest) With a movie like “Priest” which is based on a comic title, it is almost imperative that it should be viewed in 3D. Of course, it costs a few ringgit more but what is money anyway.

Unlike one other movie which I shall not mention, “Priest” in 3D format is much superior in terms of high definition and imagery.

There’s nothing natural about the story because it is about clergymen with the cross painted on their faces fighting vampires on a major revival after a devastating world war.

Paul Bettany is the fearsome vampire slayer priest who follows his conscience and breaks ties with the church to battle remnants of a vampire race that are staging a comeback with a vengeance.

It is a tale about a dark and dangerous world where humans abide by the dictates of the church elders. After his niece, Lucy Pace (Lily Collins), has been kidnapped by a powerful vampire, Priest disobeys his superiors and embarks on an unauthorised rescue mission.

He is joined by Hicks (Cam Gigandet), Lucy’s boyfriend, on that do-or-die mission. Despite his dubious expertise with a gun, Hicks provides some comedic relief to the sometimes intense sci-fi drama with his bungling ways.

The person who upped the ante in the movie is Maggie Q who plays the warrior priestess. It was not so long ago that Maggie left some indelible memories of her role in “Mission Impossible III” (2006) with Tom Cruise.

Her fighting talents and mesmerising acrobatic stunts are a joy to watch. I am saying all this because I am a bit partial towards Maggie Q who has tried very hard to break into the Hollywood scene.

Fearless character

Nevertheless, Maggie the warrior priestess has done a commendable job in portraying a fearless character. I love the way she eliminates those ugly, eyeless vampires in a dance-like sequence of martial art moves.

The “Priest” is a no-nonsense, taciturn person who has made tremendous sacrifices in joining the fighting religious order. If he had cracked a smile in the entire movie, I haven’t caught it.

It was a delight to discover that the comic “Priest” was the creation of a 37-year-old Korean named Hyung Min-Woo. It’s high time that Asian talents were given fair play in Western films.

Even though there’s little logic and rationality in the sequence of events leading to the cataclysmic and explosive conclusion, the computer generated scenes are very sophisticated and dramatic.

In other words, any person above the age of 15 will enjoy the movie because you usually don’t get to enjoy the full benefits of this type of action scenes outside the cinema.

The sensurround effects of 3D “Priest” gives the viewers a heightened sense of excitement when the sonic frequency vibrates across the cinema hall and shakes the hem of one’s trousers.

Unadulterated entertainment

“Priest” was produced on a budget of US$60 million (RM180 million) so production of the film is no small potatoes. “Priest” which was released in the United States on May 13 has been given negative reviews by a number of critics.

Personally, I find the movie quite enjoyable. It just goes to show that everyone has a different opinion. The “Priest” leaves some vital details dangling. I suspect Screen Gems which produced this film is planning to make Priest 2 in the near future.

Priest 2 will have plenty of opportunities to fill in the gaps of Priest 1.

This movie is not your usual comic-styled movie that is suitable for children below the age of 15. It has some violent scenes and one or two instances when strong language is used.

So parents may want to reconsider taking their young children to see this show.

The rule of the thumb when watching movies of this genre is to suspend all judgment and preconceived notions of what this movie should be.

If you can leave your expectations outside the cinema hall, you will enjoy “Priest”. It is unadulterated entertainment for mature audiences, nothing more, nothing less.


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