Ah, the dystopian future! We've seen it in so many movie, it kinda feels warm and familiar by now, doesn't it? Well, it should, because, apparently, there's really nothing new to see out there. At least that's the way I felt after sitting through the high-on-concept/short-on-delivery movie, Priest.
Here's the story: it's a world where vampires and humans have been at war for centuries. Vampires aren't the cape-clad, romantic figures that we know, they're closer to strange, slimy insects who drink blood. But, the war that went on for centuries was ended when the Catholic church formed a group of priests who were trained to battle the vampires. But, when the war ended, and the vampires were driven back to reservations and the priests were retired and dropped back into normal society...it all sounds sort of familiar, right?
Now, years later, one priest's, played by Paul Bettany, family has been killed and his niece has been captured by vampires. After asking the church for help, he's informed that there are no more vampires and that no war exists....so, true to this kind of movie, Paul sets out on his own to get his niece back and the kill all the vampires.
This movie has some original ideas, combined with some familiar premises...which usually works for me. But, Priest just takes these ideas and presents them as is, there's nothing different or original here! Man's family is messed with, man swears revenge, man finds allies, man gets revenge, movie sets up for a sequel...nothing new or original at all, and there was so much that could have been done with this story! The idea of fighting priest battling vampires is great, there's the idea of a vampire queen (sort of like a queen bee) that never really pans out, there's a priest that's been turned by the vampires and there's a huge amount of time spent setting up the conflict between normal-priest and vampire-priest, but the final showdown is lackluster and ends to quickly to be satisfying!
Overall, this is a great concept that was poorly executed. Could I have done better, probably not, but I'm not a filmmaker...as they say, I don't know if it's good, I just know what I like...and I didn't like Priest! I'm giving Priest 1 out of 4 cigars, and that 1 has been turned by the vampires! You want to see a more interesting vampire movie, rent John Carpenter's Vampires, it's closer to what this wanted to be!