Who's In It: Paul Bettany, Cam Gigandet, Maggie Q, Karl Urban, Stephen Moyer, Christopher Plummer, Brad Dourif, Lily Collins, Madchen Amick
The Basics: Priests used to be super warriors in the name of the Lord, fighting vampires with throwing stars hidden in their Bibles. But in the dusty, barren world of this film, they have been stripped of their spiritual and physical importance and have been replaced by Christopher Plummer on a television screen (it's hard out here for a priest, people). People live in fear of the long-gone-or-is-it vampire threat, and sure enough, Priest's (Bettany's) niece (Collins) is kidnapped after her family is slaughtered in an old school vampirey-type way. He ignores Captain Von Trapp's warnings about excommunication and goes out to find her. Then other priests set out to find him. Sounds interesting, in theory.
What's The Deal: Warning buzzers should go off in your head when a movie is based on a graphic novel that was based on a computer game. The biggest problem with this film is that it doesn't cash in on the most interesting part of the concept--priests fly through the air fighting vampires with guns, knives, and throwing stars. There's so little of it in the film that I left feeling like the victim of a bait-and-switch. It's a lot of talky-talky and very little smashy-smashy. My favorite part of the film became finding my parking ticket hidden in a pocket of my purse when I thought I had left it in the car.
Some Other Problems: The dialog is really stale. Screenwriter Cory Goodman has apparently only written this film and the upcoming Apollo 18, which I am now officially nervous for. Another issue is pretty boy Cam Gigandet, who makes Channing Tatum look like Alec Guinness. His perfect-at-all-times neckerchief has more personality than he does in this film. Let's get him back in movies like Easy A, where he played a hot doofus that I totally believed and even liked a little.
To Forgive Is Divine: Any stars this movie gets from me are based on a few elements: First, the very stylized look of the film made it relatively interesting to look at. The place is all cracked dirt and chapped lips. The second and larger reason the film isn't a total loss is Maggie Q. She gets an incredible moment towards the end of the film to wow us with her agility and fighting skills, and gets the coolest shot in the film (and possibly even 2011 so far). That chick can even make getting showered with entrails look good. And lastly, Paul Bettany does a SLOW-MO prayer before gutting a monster. Amen to that.
If I Was A Studio Exec: I would have told the team behind this movie to make the whole film like its intro--it begins with a really great animated sequence to give you the back story. When it ended, the neckerchief-staring began.