Paul Bettany is fucking awesome. But, then...he's Paul Bettany. He was pretty much the best thing in Legion. Here he plays the Priest who turns his back on the church in order to go off and track his niece who's been kidnapped by a bunch of monstrous vampires. He really knows how to play the character that the fate of the world depends on to perfection. Little known fact: Bettany also voices the computer that Tony Stark (Rober Downey Jr.) talks to in the Iron Man films. He's pretty bad ass and I'm sure he'll continue to kick ass in whatever else he chooses to do.
Maggie Q is pretty awesome, as well. Not quite as awesome as Bettany...but, still bad ass in her own right. If there is a sequel to this I hope they bring her back for more ass kicking.
I'm not sure if you remember when I said that I usually like Karl Urban. But, this is the Karl Urban I enjoy. Dark. Brooding. The kind of guy that you don't even think about fuckin' with. Well, here he plays "Black Hat"...the film's main plot revelation, which I won't spoil for you. Let's just say that he gives Bettany a run for his money in terms of bad assedness.
Lily Collins is my new crush of the week...as she plays Lucy. The girl that gets herself kidnapped. Which brings me to my next complaint...
Cam Gigandet. He's pretty much the worst part of anything I've ever seen him in and continues that trend here in Priest. He plays Hicks, Lucy's love interest and the sheriff of the wastelands. The guy can't act. If you've seen any of the films he's in and are not a practicing member of his fan club, then you'll surely know what I'm talking about. They should've hired someone like Ben Foster. That kid can act circles around Cam Giganannndewhateverthefuckhisnameis.
The look of the film is pretty damn stunning. While director Scott Charles Stewart (heh...3 first names) does a passable job of keeping the action going, this is really Don Burgess' show. He's the guy tasked with lensing Priest and, man, what a job he does with the cinematography. The film takes place in a darker future set in a desolate, sandy environment. A sort of Spaghetti Western-meets-Dark City type of place. Burgess has been in the game for quite awhile...and his experience really makes the film look pretty.
In the end, Priest is a fun film...not to be taken seriously in the least. While it gives you its best impressions of much better action films and never attempts to be anything more than what it promises...it is ultimately a popcorn flick full of improbabilities and script issues best served through eyes of low expectations. My expectations happened to be almost non-existant. If you've already seen Legion...then, I recommend this film whole-heartedly to you. If not...then, check it out when you have absolutely nothing else to do...and feel like watching Paul Bettany kick some CGI vampire ass.
2.5 out of 5