Christine Champ January 20, 2011
If you loved Legion, you’ll love Priest!
Probably, since the 3-D horror rodeo’s trailer exudes the same murky supernatural apocalypse ambiance. It also promises similar swords and throwing crosses. And it happens to have the same director and transgressor hero as Legion — Scott Charles Stewart and Paul Bettany, respectively. If you didn’t love Legion, well, you still might be tempted enough by Priest‘s trailer to gamble on a ticket.
Especially if you’re a fan of the same-titled comic book by Min-Woo Hyung, from which the 3-D epic Priest was culled. The adaptation reportedly takes more than a few liberties with its source material, trading demons for more fashionable vampires in a surreal dystopian Wild West crusade mash up. After centuries of war between humans and monstrously fanged, faceless, fleshy vampires (not the kind you want to marry and parent a half-human baby with), the former have retreated to preternaturally dark fortress cities, where white neon crosses on skyscrapers and similarly glowing “repent” billboards beam the church’s authority. When a pack of renegade vampires abduct the warrior priest Priest’s niece, he defies church law (and a menacing monsignor played by Christopher Plummer) by leaving the city to save her before she’s turned into a vampire. Motorcycling through the blindingly bright Mad Max-reminiscent outland beyond the city, he’s joined in his quest by his niece’s wasteland sheriff boyfriend, Hicks (New Moon and Burlesque‘s Cam Gigandet), and a former warrior priestess with otherworldly fighting skillz (Maggie Q) — skillz likely of the Matrix aerial kung fu variety if the trailer’s dusty showdown between Priest and foe is any indication.
Matrix meets Underworld meets Legion (of course) meets Mad Max meets Sukiyaki Western Django meets — insert some other action-thriller-fantasy genre-fusion film — Priest appears to aim for derivative novelty. Or, maybe just enough cool sci-fi gadgets, explosions, and sinewy heroes with grizzly good looks and piercing gazes to bring in big box-office bucks. It could be an adventure that spectacularly fuses some of audiences’ most favorite film things. It’s also about timing, with all the sassy teens, leather-skinned femme fatales, werewolves, and other vamp slayers Hollywood’s sold us, it’s finally pimping the obvious fang-gunning-champion choice, an ecclesiastical hit man.
Or it could prove sexy and explosive on the outside and dead inside like Legion. “You have no idea what’s coming,” a crazy-eyed humanlike creature (it’s hard to tell the vamps from the half vamps or whatever monster without prior knowledge of the comic) tells Priest with fiendish glee at the end of the trailer. I think we probably do, but you never know. Priest is due out May 13, just about the time audiences will be particularly in the mood for popcorn movies. Who knows how appetizing or satisfying an adrenaline-fueled fantasy like Priest may be, especially compared to the other summer fare featured on the cinema menu, like Cars 2 or Michael Bay’s latest Transformers smash-’em-upstacle. Fingers crossed Priest won’t end up being the kind of movie you watch … and pray will be over soon.
Categories: TrailersTags: Legion, Paul bettany, Priest