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Written by / 5/14/2011 / No comments / , , , , , , ,

PRIEST

title: PRIEST
year: 2011
cast: Paul Bettany, Karl Urban
rating: **

It usually takes five or six comic books to equal one film. This seems like a stretched-out single issue of a story hardly setting up characters within a two minute trailer-like intro. Then plunging us straight into a cold world where icy religion reigns, and priests, trained to slay, are forced into denial.

Gone are the films when vamps were dark-haired men with capes. Although there is one human neck-biter; Karl Urban’s “Black Hat” is the Lee Van Cleef to priest vamp slayer Paul Betanny’s Clint Eastwood… the latter a man (with a permanent cross tattoo on his forehead) in search of the bloodsuckers who killed his brother and sister-in-law, and kidnapped his niece. Tagging along is Cam Gigandant, the niece’s boyfriend, part punk, park gunslinger, all attitude. And they have to kill many vampires, each resembling Gollum born with a hyperactive frog's DNA.

The Western theme, with the good guys going from town-to-town in an apocalyptic wasteland, is marred by cheesy, monotone-delivered dialog and rushed action scenes. But the finale involving our heroes out to blow up a fast moving train makes this, at best, a semi-enjoyable bite from the neck of a numbskull.
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