A long war between humans and oozy, unsexy, eyeless vampires ended with the humans victorious, thanks to a league of battle-trained Priest movies. The remaining vampires have been herded in to remote prisons, while humans live in walled-off cities, rendering the warrior- Priest movie unnecessary.
When a city-dwelling former Priest movie (Paul Bettany) learns that his country-dwelling brother (an underused Stephen Moyer from "True Blood") and his relatives have been attacked, it is time to dust off the jet-cycle and head in to the desert to inquire in to. The Priest movie discovers that peacetime has not been as quiet as it might have appeared and has to head off an approaching vampire invasion.
Vampires so hot right now! Also religion. And the apocalypse. And perhaps cowboys? Pull together a hodgepodge of all these elements and ends up with something like " Priest movie," the big-screen adaptation of a series of graphic novels, directed by Scott Stewart.
The film is somehow a disappointing combo of too-full and oddly empty. Even with all the various parts and pieces going in to its structure, it feels bare-bones the differentiation between the dystopian future-cities and the dust-bowl hinterlands seldom creates the stress it ought to, and a fistful of crucifixes that become throwing stars is as deep as the theology gets.
Stewart, with a background in visual effects, likes to place his characters as small specks in huge, open vistas, which may partly explain why the film remains disconcertingly remote. An animated prologue (designed by Genndy Tartakovsky in the style of Min-Woo Hyung's original art) gives a primer on the mythology and contains the film's most engaging visuals.
" Priest movie" is being projected (and priced) in 3-D venues; it was converted in post production. While watching in 3-D it is simple to forget that there's supposed to be some additional dimensional effects, were it not for the glasses on your face and their dimming of on-screen color. The film also ends with a blatant setup for a sequel that feels not only crass but also premature can only wish the filmmakers would have concentrated more on the film they were making than eyeing the they might make next movie.