Sunday, May 22, 2011

"Priest"

Hey, guys. So, for those of you that have known me since I started up on DeviantArt and on the That Guy With The Glasses Forums, I have typically taken a break over the summer blockbuster season.

Not so with this year. It's a bit of a long story, but... I'll be able to review a large part of this summer's major releases here at HWR.

So to celebrate that, I'm giving you guys a double feature!

Fantastical Creature Faire

So that's the theme of this Double Feature. Why? Because both of the features today feature fantastical creatures.

And we begin that Double Feature...

... with one of the worst uses of 3D ever in a movie.

Priest

Humanity is waging a war against vampires that has gone on for centuries. Thanks to the rise of the priests, stability has come to the world, and everything seems to be coming to normal. But when a relative of one of these priests (Paul Bettany) gets stolen, he ends up having to go on an adventure with a sheriff (Cam Gigandet) and another priest (Maggie Q) to rescue her. And along the way...

...

Go on. Take a gander at what happens.

If you guessed that they uncover something big that's going on that could potentially endanger everything they fought for, congratulations, you have won a cookie. This movie is scarily predictable, and as a result, there's almost nothing here that has any tension. So anyone who can predict the ending will get a whole box of cookies.

It's a shame, then, that the cookies don't justify the use of the numerous clich├ęs that show up in this movie.

There are a myriad of problems with this movie, and I can go over what many of those problems are all day. It takes its premise so incredibly seriously it almost borders on craziness when you consider how cheesy the dialogue is. The world-building is heavily flawed, and the high-tech bits that are scattered around what otherwise looks like a post-apocalyptic western look out of place because of it. The acting is pretty much universally stilted thanks to some of the most inane, face-palm inducing dialogue I've seen, and not even freakin' Christopher Plummer can save this movie. You know you're in bad hands when one of the most legendary and capable actors of film history can't save this movie.

What this movie does have in its favor is a rather slick style in the action scenes. But the problem is that we get the action scenes so rarely that the stylized action gets wasted. And the horror bits are also entirely tension free, though I suspect this is more a function of the fact that they're trying to generate horror for guys that are chasing the big bad creatures instead of having them be chased by said big bad creatures. But if it should come to that, then it's not horror.

If I had to pick anything to say that was worst about this movie... I would say that it feels like the movie is fighting against the running time and the rating. It runs at a brisk 82 minutes, and as a result the pacing gets incredibly uneven, as it's way too slow at the beginning and way too fast at the end. And then there's the issue of it fighting it's rating. This is a movie that feels like it wants to be rated R instead of PG-13, as there is an unsuitably large amount of gore for a movie that's rated PG-13. Also, there is a large amount of blood, but it's rarely seen flowing. But it's most apparent in some of the awkward cuts in the action scenes that hide the gorier bits of them, perhaps most egregiously in one action scene in the middle of the second act where one of the vampires winds up getting his throat slashed and the editing gets incredibly awkward to shield the gore. If a movie has to fight against its own rating in such a manner, something has gone wrong.

Also, don't get me started on the 3D. I had the great misfortune to watch this movie in 3D, and it was not worth the extra money. A large part of the movie takes place in extremely darkened conditions, and the fact that 3D technology darkens the screen means that in some scenes, it's almost impossible to tell what's going on, even when the camera is completely stationary and there isn't much movement on-screen. If you must see this movie (and honestly, I don't know why you'd want to), then see it in 2D, because the 3D just obscures everything.

And that is a recap of all of the problems of this movie. Priest is an all-around incapable movie on just about every level. The writing is laughable, the acting is very stilted, and there's a pervading sense that the movie is fighting against the rating that was set up for it. Thus, it is one of the most boring movies I have seen in a while.

Don't bother.

1/4

Skip it.

This is Herr Wozzeck Reviews. I'll see you guys in a couple of hours with a review of Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides.

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