Well, now

Feb. 27th, 2012 09:31 am
telophase: (Default)
Toby and I watched Priest last night and wow, that was a terrible movie. Nice cinematography, decently interesting setup for a slight action flick, marred by a horrid script and wooden acting. Not to mention casting a 30-year-old man who looks 35 in a supporting role and referring to him as "the boy" several times: words uttered by a 40-year-old man who looks 30 and whose character turns out to be (OMG SPOILER!) the father of the 18-year-old (played by a 22-year-old) love interest. And the failed attempts at wire-fu. And the obvious positioning for a (thankfully so far nonexistant) sequel. (Also, spoiler: apparently the priests' superpower is the discovery of bullet time.)

ETA: And the glacial pacing, which stands out in a 1'27" movie. We spent the first 20 minutes, after a brief action sequence right at the beginning, complaining that there was plot getting int he way of our action, and discussing how it could be edited to fix it. (Toby's solution: get rid of the "boy," have it start with the titular priest being summoned to the monsignors and told of the attack on his family, with a warning not to do anything as that was against the will of the Church. Have a minute or two of montage showing his indecision and eventual choice to forsake the Church, then commence the ass-kicking. Boom, remove 15 minutes of dead weight.)

I do have to give props that Maggie Q's character was the only one in the movie with any sense. No pointless self-sacrificing for her! I will overlook the being in love with the main character bit for the badassery of her final act: there is an armored train full of vampires crossing the desert towards a large walled city. While the titular priest and the "boy" go onto the the train to rescue the daughter/love interest, she speeds on ahead on her motorcycle* to place explosives on the track. Vampire servants on motorcycles catch up after she's placed them and she takes them all out while on foot, but in the chaos something-or-other's broken on the explosives so she can't set it off remotely. So she straps them to her bike and heads down the track at high speed towards the train and then jumps off at the last minute instead of nobly sacrificing herself. Handwaving the fact that the blast radius would be too large for anyone but Bullet Time Priest to escape and all the protagonists escape, she does so. (I would have actually accepted her dying by shrapnel or something, because she made the attempt.)

Contrast that with the moral question bandied about between the titular priest and the "boy," which is that if the Love Interest (Lucy) were infected, the priest would have to kill her, and the "boy" not believing that he could do that to his own flesh and blood (at this point, it had not yet been revealed to the character that the priest was her father, although that was telegraphed from miles away for the audience, the "boy" thought the priest was her uncle). At least twice the question was brought up in the movie, thus leading us to expect a moral quandary, and she was never actually bitten, so no payoff. :P

Anyway, it makes me want to go back and read the manhwa. I read the first couple of volumes back when they first came out in the States, about a decade ago. The publisher's out of business, but I see that all 16 volumes that were released are available via Amazon, and I expect there may be some *ahem* other versions available elsewhere.

* The priest's bikes are jet-powered and designed with a giant phallic jet engine that they straddle. A whole new meaning to the term "crotch rocket."

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