I was totally reluctant to see this and it did take a couple of years for me to finally give in as it was on Film4 and generally they don’t fuck around with shit films.. generally.. The movie was never going to be as good as the comics, and very few comic remakes are that good, and on top of this Mr Keanu (I’m a wooden puppet) Reeves is cast as the lead and I stepped back crying OH HELL NO, until i realised Tilda Swinton had a small part and decided it would be worth it to perve on her.
Hellblazer.. *ahem* I mean John Constantine is like a detective/guardian who deals with all things religiously supernatural, demonic possession, angels and demons who try to interfere a little too much etc etc, with the help of his ambitious sidekick he’s onto something big here that leads him almost straight into hell and to Devil himself. After rescuing a young girl from a demon a little secret is let out, and John is on the case of trying to stop one of the devils sons from coming back to burn this earth and claim it for his own. Dect Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) has recently lost her twin sister to suicide and through messages left behind and Constantine’s help the pair are in for a wild ride as they try to decipher the mysteries of Hell’s army.
It’s surprisingly layered, and tries to be as in depth as a movie based on several years of comics can be. The atmosphere and Keanu were just very wrong for me personally but I did actually enjoy how the entities (angels/demons) were characterised by some great performers like Swinton who plays the outcast Archangel Gabriel and oddly Gavin Rossdale, who plays an charming son of a bitch demon actually gives a strong performance. There are lots of peculiar characters in between who work for and around this structure of unworldly beings including Midnite (Djimon Hounsou) who runs an exclusive club, similar to the vampire sanctuaries in Blade (1998) and Max Baker (Beeman) and Pruitt Vince (Father Hennessy) who are like the behind the scenes James Bond crew who aid Constantine with gadgets and intelligence.
Constantine is quite slick in it’s appearance, it does lay on the effects quite heavily as it progresses but doesn’t does go out with a bang with one the best Satan scenes ever from the legendary bad boy Peter Stormare.
It’s a fair homage to the comic, spruced up by some Tool in the soundtrack, great character acting from the supporting cast but sadly not the main. It digs in deep to the mythology that is Hellblazer and ultimately is watchable and fairly enjoyable, it just could have tried a little harder but it doesn’t stop me from enjoying it from time to time.
R – The Omen (1976) , Blade (1998), Spawn (1997)
L – Comic remakes that are worth a watch,Comic remakes that AREN’T worth a watch
A – Casting someone cos they are famous rather than someone who looks and acts the part.
5B – Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz, Tilda Swinton, Devil Scenes
Vs – Constantine Vs Spawn