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Genre: Action Drama Fantasy Horror Thriller (USA, Germany)
Starring: Keanu Reeves (Thumbsucker; Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure), Rachel Weisz (The Fountain; The Constant Gardener)
Directed By: Francis Lawrence
Overview: The champion exorcist and demon hunter John Constantine, faced with the signs of the coming of Armageddon, does what he can to stay alive and redeem himself in the eyes of God.
Yeah, yeah, pretty boy Keanu Reeves in another pretty boy role. I think he's gaining potential now though. He might actually not be a flash in the pan. Even though from time to time the direction and acting was fromage, all the players were consistently good. Keanu also gets roles in films that are real interesting. The Matrix, Devil's Advocate (HIGHLY recommended), A Scanner Darkly...He knows how to pick em, and he's getting better.
It's really creepy when you notice this Hollywood fare doing all it can to go out of it's way to look perfect. Static shots with just enough going on in the background, perfectly set up displays, crane shot after oddly-angled shot. The special effects are just right, especially the demonic influence and the look of Hell itself. Even Constantine's apartment and the bowling alley were scouted meticulously. No kidding, it's gorgeous, and I'm sure, lost to most viewers, but no sir, not me.
The writing is on par with the acting. Though we really know the characters and their tribulations, there were the odd cheesy moments. Maybe I'm being too hard on em, but cheese accounts for a lot. Still good though, don't get me wrong.
I am very partial to this sort of plot. Yes it's standard fare: Disgruntled Demon hunter Boy meets psychic anti-Christ related Girl and they get into adventures while people around them die and possessed Mexican immigrants try to end the world, while Boy seeks redemption, visiting Hell every now and then, but you know? It's my kind of movie. I liked it.
In The Order (starring Heath Ledger), a champion against demons and other dark things blows Hell's minions away, brushes off his lapel and throws off some witty quips like it's nothing. In THIS film, Constantine is without a doubt a truer champion, and he still has a rough time dealing with the infernal visitors that he faces, because he's a weak MORTAL, and they're immortal HELLSPAWN, not to be blatantly clear about the unfair advantage. John hates his lot, he even has some real contempt for the Lord and his angelic captains. His character is so much more developed, and this goes a long way in putting us by his side. Among the fantastical world of demons and angels, we find a regular everyman with a power he never asked for. For this reason, it's a much more believable film. And Hell is cool, well, hot.. Er... You know what I mean.
Overall Rating: 78% (Heavenly!)
So surprising. Very Minority Report in the way it astounded me at how good it was going to be. Sadly, Constantine blows away the Prophecy sequels. You watch there be a sequel to this, and then you watch those suck just as bad. Of course, Keanu would never be in a sequel, he's got more integrity than that. And even if he ever DID make a sequel, the movie would be so much better for it. It would get terrific acclaim... Yep, for sure.