Friday, 29 July 2011

Priest, dir. Scott Stewart, wr. Cory Goodman, st. Paul Bettany, Karl Urban, Maggie Q

Whenever a film begins with an extended animated intro sequence during which masses of backstory is filled in, those klaxons that Russian nuclear facilities make when they go into meltdown in Bond films start ringing in my ears. As it turned out, Priest needed such a sequence to help make up for the complete lack of plot, narrative or sense in its following ninety minutes. Liberally borrowing - as in "it's exactly the same" - from such films as Blade Runner (oh look, a perpetually dark, overcrowded and polluted city where everyone's holding future-brellas), Mad Max (oh look, vast post-apocalyptic plains) and Nineteen-Eighty Four (oh look, the government uses slogans to keep their citizens in check), you think it can't get any worse, then, despite closing your eyes really tightly and wishing as hard as you can that Karl Urban isn't really going to be the Big Bad, about as charismatic as he is as a sack of parsnips, it turns out he is and that's all we're getting by way of serious conflict, and then, AND THEN, Alan Bloody Dale turns up, who just needs to STOP BEING IN STUFF. It's a shame really as the Stephen 'Bill Compton' Moyer/Madchen Amick/Lily 'Daughter of Phil' Collins (post) Nuclear (war) Family set-up early on in the film looked like it might have gone somewhere genre-bendy. But I'm probably bitter that Paul Bettany's married to Jennifer Connelly. In fact, that's exactly it.