Righto! Priest is out today! Lets have a look.
Priest is the story of a vampire hunting member of a holy order, who finds himself is a variety of unique and horrifying conditions. The story is an over-stylized and graphically violent take on story that uses exaggeration as an artful medium to tell a story.
The trailers so far have showcased a film that is imaginative, violent, and spectacularly over the top. From the times that I’ve been in a theater during these previews, the audience reaction has been split. Most of the time, the audience has gotten their initial impression and fallen into the camp of “that’s awesome” or “that’s stupid”.
It’s all a matter of perspective, but here’s some other graphic novel/ comic book movies that have featured fantastic imaginative context that has been iconic in nature, and what they innovated.
–300. 300 dared to innovate by filming almost entirely with green screens, featuring a washed out palette that deliberately over-stylized the movie so that it seemed like it was a graphic novel on screen. The effect has been duplicated heavily since.
–Watchmen. Comics and graphic novels often feature nudity and very adult themes that their movie counterparts avoid. Watchmen was a movie that embraced its adult themes and violent encounters and it’s well deserved R rating. It is a movie that broke ground with injecting mature content into comic book movies.
–Sin City. Sin City used the daring format of being in black and white for the overwhelming majority of the movie, using light and interaction to portray a story rather than relying on the usual Hollywood color codes. This was stylistic choice, not technological limitation.
V For Vendetta.- V for Vendetta dared to be a movie that sympathized with a terrorist right in the middle of the war on terror, while eliciting a hauntingly wonderful from Hugo Weaving while being hidden behind a mask. It was stylized and constraining and changed up perception, and it made people think.
All in all, it’s looking like Priest is going to be one of two things. Either it’s gonna be a wonderfully stylized and graphic story that truly leaves an impression on audiences, or the attempts to become like a graphic novel may be not accessible to work into a reasonable scope, leaving Priest to flounder.
We’ll have to see what it turns into, but one thing is for sure. It’s already left an impression. And comic book and graphic novel fans will appreciate it in ways that the mainstream audience may not be able to, making it a special experience for them. It will be exciting to see what Priest innovates.