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Unspectacular Priest

Comic adaptation "sluggish" on the screen


Scott Stewart’s adaptation of the eponymous graphic novel series opens with a couple of minutes of bloody, animated exposition, during which we learn that after years of warfare, super-powered priests have beaten back a race of eyeless vampires and the church has established Orwellian colonies for the human survivors. As silly as all that is, it only gets worse from there. The ashen-faced Paul Bettany stars as a squinty, scowling priest-warrior who goes back into battle mode when a new gang of vamps kidnaps one of his relatives. Bettany’s is one of many wooden performances---Cam Gigandet, who plays his sheriff sidekick, is outright terrible and Christopher Plummer is utterly wasted---but what’s really disappointing is how unspectacular the action is. Flipping through the pages of the comic would be a more kinetic experience than suffering through this sluggish screen version.

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