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priest
via Sony

An irredeemably awful comic book adaptation bares its fangs to go for the jugular on streaming

There's definitely potential, it was just horribly bungled.

Paul Bettany is without a doubt a hugely talented actor, and a mainstay of the world’s biggest franchise since the very beginning, but director Scott Stewart’s repeated attempts to transform the mild-mannered Englishman into a badass action hero hardly went according to plan, with Priest arguably the worst offender.

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Within the space of three years, Stewart and Bettany collaborated on supernatural religious-themed brawler Legion, the aforementioned Priest, and Blumhouse-backed psychological frightener Dark Skies, all of which performed well enough not to bomb, but hardly good enough to be deemed hits – and we haven’t even mentioned the critical consensus.

priest
via Sony

A 15 percent Rotten Tomatoes score puts Priest at the bottom of the pile on that front, and it barely made a dent at the box office after netting $78 million on a $60 million budget. There’s definitely potential in the concept, but the adaptation of Hyung Min-woo’s Korean comic book run was bungled spectacularly on its way to being thrown onto the screen as a dimly-lit, haphazard mess of inspirations and influences.

Set in a future ravaged by war between humans and vampires, Bettany’s gun-toting man of the cloth heads out into the lawless wilderness to rescue his kidnapped niece and save her from a bloodsucking fate, where he’s joined by her wet blanket boyfriend and a nun with superpowers. Sounds awesome, right? Well, it isn’t. However, it is proving to be a sleeper hit on streaming, with FlixPatrol outing Priest as a slow-burning success on the Rakuten rankings, so there’s that.


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Scott Campbell
News, reviews, interviews. To paraphrase Keanu Reeves; Words. Lots of words.
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