Priest, a post-apocalyptic action thriller, is set in an alternate world — one ravaged by centuries of war between man and vampires. The story revolves around a legendary Warrior Priest (Paul Bettany) from the last Vampire War who now lives in obscurity among the other downtrodden human inhabitants in walled-in dystopian cities ruled by the Church. When his niece (Lily Collins) is abducted by a murderous pack of vampires, Priest breaks his sacred vows to venture out on an obsessive quest to find her before they turn her into one of them. He is joined on his crusade by his niece’s boyfriend (Cam Gigandet), a trigger-fingered young wasteland sheriff, and a former Warrior Priestess (Maggie Q) who possesses otherworldly fighting skills.
“Priest” includes scenes of prayer and a character who literally takes a leap of faith near the end to try to save the day. A few scriptures are quoted as well including, “God is my refuge.” Two priests, a man and a woman, agree that they want to please God, not necessarily the church. Christopher Plummer plays Monsignor Orelas who believes if the church is disobeyed than God is disobeyed. Paul Bettany (the Priest who fights vampires) disagrees with this opinion enough to pursue putting an end to a group of vampires who have kidnapped a young woman named Lucy. This goes against the Monsignor’s wishes. And there is more to Lucy than meets the eye and a secret is revealed by the film’s end.
I couldn’t help but wonder if the filmmakers intended to make some statements within the context of this film, which would seem to be that one should aim to please God but the church isn’t always right. And that the clergy sometimes wields too much power. Aside from that, there is a hefty amount of violence in the movie, including in the animated introduction. Blood pours and there are animated decapitations. When the live action scenes take place, there are stabbings and more blood spilled in addition to fires, explosions, and fights. Strong language is also used several times. It is therefore unfortunate that we are unable to award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to the film.