Ok....but not worth seeing time & time again.
While I was interested in watching "Constantine", I didn't really get what I was expecting. I never once read a comic of "Hellblazer", but I know the general gist of it, and despite my disappointment with the miscasting of Reeves and the loose adaptation, I did get more than I bargained for. Constantine was essentially a story that takes place in the UK, but despite the Americanization, it ends up becoming a really solid adult thriller in the end. Constantine is a demon fighter who has been diagnosed with cancer and is now seeking to buy his way in to heaven, and through that journey, director Francis Lawrence who is shockingly a music video director, surprisingly gives some grade A direction for what is
rightly a stylish yet very murky supernatural thriller. Lawrence gives some incredible and wild imagery involving monsters, demons, and some mind tricks that properly worked on this here cynical movie-goer. Lawrence presents some of the most eye-catching special effects and images worthy of Barker and Lovecraft, and I was utterly stunned by what was presented to us, whether it be his view of hell and its demons, or the opening where Constantine performs an exorcism.
It was a sequence that could easily have been one of the most contrived scenes in the recent film age, but it was pulled off with such urgency and subtlety, it ends up becoming an amazing yet freaky scene. As for Constantine, I just love that bad-ass. Though Reeves sleepwalks through this role, the character has potential and much possibilities. This is a man whose seen it all and confronted the most demonic of entities, yet is panicky about dying from cancer because he's about to be sentenced to a prison where half the inmates want him, as he puts it. It's wicked irony that is presented throughout the film that I just couldn't get enough of along the lines of the themes of religion. While the movie ends up being just pretty good, it wins me over by the supernatural mumbo jumbo which I eat by the spoonfuls and that's what makes me really like this movie. The voodoo, supernatural, and religious talk while droning for some, just kept me involved throughout the whole movie, and mixed with Lawrence's searing visuals, it made for some great fodder for me in the way of horror. My favorite sequence being the lights on the empty street quickly going off as Constantine prepared for the inevitable.
Lawrence, for a music video director is really a credit to his type. He has a knack for detail and knows how to pace the film while speeding it up on the right time for the audience to get excited. As for what I thought of Reeves, you'll have to read below, but the particular greatness of this film lies not in the principal actor's acting and his lack thereof, yet in the
overwhelming talents of the supporting cast whom all look as if they're having more fun than Reeves is. Each actor looks like they're just engrossed in their roles and really knocked me off my socks. Is it any coincidence the best performances are from the non-American actors?
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.