Film Review: Bless Us Father, For We Bear Witness to ‘Priest’

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CHICAGO – The cure for the Recovering Catholic may be obtained in the new film “Priest.” Both symbolic and kick-ass, Priest has a parallel universe that includes the ubiquitous vampire, but with the bonus of their opponents being highly trained Catholic priests. Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Based on a Min-Woo Hyung graphic novel – which has become the latest go-to storyboard for mainstream films – Priest takes all of the intensity of the Catholic faith and combines it with the fanboy worship of the gratuitous and highly trained warrior. Against the oblique enemy that is the vampire, it takes the dudes and dudines with large crosses to “take out the garbage.”

In this alternate world, man has battled vampires since the beginning of time. Vampires, with their abject strength and desire for life sustaining blood (which gives a whole new meaning to “casualty of war”), had the upper hand for many millennium, until the age of the “Priests.” Combining religious fervor, creative use of crosses as weaponry and the strategy of vampire burning daylight, the Priests put down the blood-sucking uprising and created walled-in villages of “church states” for the surviving humanity. Loyalty to the church is loyalty to God, according to an oft-repeated blessing.

Rumors of a vampire attack in the outer “waste lands” peaks the interest the greatest warrior Priest (Paul Bettany), because it involves his sister, niece and brother-in-law. The vampires, led by a half human mutant called Black Hat (Karl Urban), have kidnapped niece Lucy (Lily Collins) and hold her as bait to call out the Priest and his associates. Against the wishes of church leader Monsignor Orelas (Christopher Plummer), the Priest is on the case, and brings along a waste land sheriff named Hicks (Cam Gigandet), who happens to be in love with Lucy.

Together they seek to avenge the attack and kidnapping of the Priest’s family, plus stem the tide of another apparent vampire uprising. This is a war fought both against their natural enemies and against the Church itself, which seeks to remain powerful by maintaining loyalty through the perpetuation of fear. Sounds eerily familiar.

”Priest” opens everywhere on May 13th. Check local listings for 3D show times and theaters. Featuring Paul Bethany, Karl Urban, Cam Gigandet, Maggie Q, Lily Collins and Christopher Plummer. Screenplay by Cory Goodman, based on a graphic novel by Min-Woo Hyung and directed by Scott Charles Stewart. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Priest”

Father Chaos: Paul Bettany is the Title Character in ‘Priest’
Father Chaos: Paul Bettany is the Title Character in ‘Priest’
Photo credit: Screen Gems

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Priest”

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