Priest 3D

I've been wracking my brain for a few days now to figure out a way to start a review of Priest 3D. Do I start with a quick breakdown of the plot? Essentially a post-apocalyptic take on John Wayne's The Searchers with the Priests as the Cowboys and mutant vampires as the Indians, the film centers on one such Priest (Paul Bettany) whose niece is abducted by vampires, causing him to set out across the wasteland, seeing to her rescue. He does so against the wishes of the Ministry, headed up by Monsignor Orelas (Christopher Plummer, who is either hurting for work or seriously slumming in this picture). Apparently the vampire menace has been put down, and any hint to the contrary is a threat to the totalitarian protective construct that the church has built.

Wackiness and Violence ensue, eventually leading to another group of priests (led by Maggie Q) being sent to bring back our protagonist, by any means necessary. Before long they run into the evil Priest/Vampire hybrid, Black Hat (played rather lethargically by Karl Urban), who wants to tear down the church... or something. To be honest, by the time they got to his motivation for anything, I wasn't really paying attention anymore.

Of course, the above breakdown pretends that the plot makes any kind of sense, which it doesn't. This film isn't only bad, it's AGGRESSIVELY bad. It's the kind of movie that comes into your house at night, steals your babies, and returns them to you as mindless zombies whose only purpose is to churn out money to see movies this. Freakin'. Bad.
Not even fun enough to mock, the film's pacing was set to fast-forward so you couldn't digest any of the scenery (recycled from a dozen other post-apocalyptic films), the characters (two-dimensional is actually adding an extra dimension), the monsters (badly recycled from the crappy vampires in "I Am Legend"), or the afore-mentioned threadbare plot. The movie never lingers on any particular element long enough for you to care, and as such, boredom quickly settles in. The one interesting aspect, that of the dictatorial Church of the Cyberpunk Jesus, is glazed over 4 minutes.

Well, at least the action's good, right? Sadly, no. Suffering from the same pacing problems as the rest of the picture, the action sequences are slap-dashedly thrown together so that you can't tell what's going on with the exception of a couple of "gee-whiz this was shot in 3D" moments.

As it's based on a Manga, I can only suppose that there is a better story to be had here, and it's a shame that the setting that could have been interesting wasn't used to better effect. Really, there's nobody to which I'd recommend this movie. It's terrible to sit through on your own (as I did), and the choice of action-packed vamp flicks for a Cavalcade has much better choices, the Blade Trilogy for starters. The first two for quality entertainment, and the last one for something to rip to shreds with friends.