In a future society where the human race has enclosed itself in walled cities governed by a fascistic religious state after centuries of war with a race of vampires, an ex-warrior is called upon to help track down the kidnapped daughter of his brother.
Switch the jet cycles for horses and vampires for Indians, Priest shows itself to be a sci-fi horror version of John Ford’s classic The Searchers. It’s actually an adaptation of a Korean graphic novel and it contains all the appropriate slow motion wire work and flashing blades you’d expect in the post-Matrix era and there are some very solid action sequences. The biggest problem with the film is that it’s all so derivative; there’s an extensive hotch-potch of ideas drawing on various sources yet not one of them is remotely original. By far the best part of the film are the scenes set in the Judge Dredd-style Mega City which owe a great visual debt to Blade Runner and the idea of a futuristic society ruled by the church is a really interesting one. Unfortunately these scenes are fairly short-lived, the plot soon switching to an action-western format that’s a lot less interesting. The creatures are rather cartoonish and unconvincing as you’d expect from computer generated monsters and Karl Urban’s bad guy garners far too little screen time.
Having said all that, it’s still reasonably entertaining and cracks along at a pace that staves off boredom making for generic but flashy chop-socky sci fi that’s forgettable but fun.