Tuesday, May 10, 2011
The film is based on the 1998 graphic novel created by Min-Woo Hyung, PRIEST (Tokyopop), which is described as an intense combination of a horror Western with blazing nonstop action. In the graphic novel, a man walks across the Western frontier batteling fire-breathing demons while he seeks revenge for the death of his loved one.
The movie version of PRIEST, diverges from the graphic novel timeline and events, while expanding upon the concept with fresh ideas. Director Scott Stewart attempts to make up for the failure that was "Legion", which also starred Paul Bettany in a religous themed story. So what about these "fresh ideas". Why must Hollywood make everything involve vampires now? I didn’t know much about the graphic novel that Priest is supposed to be based on, but what I found out from Wikipedia is that it doesn’t involve vampires at all. So why change it, and if you are going to change it should you really include in your cast an actor from Twilight (Cam Gigandet) and someone from True Blood (Stephen Moyer)? I thought that the cast would get a boost from Paul Bettany and Karl Urban, but they are completely flat. Lily Collins, who will be playing Snow White in 2012 for the Brothers Grimm was annoying. The only decent performance was from Maggie Q, but that is being generous because it really is the fight scene she has towards the end of the film that was any good.
Having not read the graphic novels, I cannot comment on whether or not the visual aspects of the film represent the vision of Hyung Min-Woo. What I can say is that the use of 3D in the film is certainly not necessary and fails over and over again. The over stylized, post-apocalyptic, vampire-western where a religious figure wages war to save humanity is grasping in so many directions that the script couldn’t help itself but to suck. The story lacks originality and follows the cliché-riddled ridiculousness we've seen time and time again.
For a script that separated itself so much from the graphic novel, it was insulting that they even attempt to set it up for a sequel in the end. I have gone back and forth on this, but unfortunately this movie falls in the 1 Quack category and will likely receive the Beavtrash award for worst comic book movie.
(screening date 5/12/11, release date 5/13/11, location Regal Gallery Place 14)