Constantine

Constantine is another movie that you probably haven’t seen.

This movie didn’t impress the critics, for whatever reason. (Too much reliance on Catholic iconography?) It also pissed off the fans of the Hellblazer comics/graphic novels, because it wasn’t very close to the original material. Why? Suits always know best, even when it is clear that they don’t.

It also suffers from wooden acting by Keanu Reeves, but I don’t mind it so much in this case, because John Constantine, at least as he appears in the movie, is not supposed to be likable.

So. John Constantine is an exorcist who stumbles into a plan by son of Satan to unleash the apocalypse for his own gain. I thought it was well done, given the constraints of making a Hollywood movie. Mostly dealing with suits in the movie industry, who don’t understand comics, or much of anything really, and creative decisions made by committee. Still, I like this movie enough to own a DVD copy, and I do pull that out every once in a while.

The supporting cast is great. It includes Rachel Weisz as the detective investigating a situation, and Shia LaBeouf as Constantine’s apprentice. It isn’t the best performance of LaBeouf’s career, but he might just be the shining light in this cast. Oh, and Tilda Swinton as Gabriel, in yet another gender-bending role for Swinton.

This isn’t great cinema. It isn’t even great horror. Great Horror would be John Carpenter’s Vampires. Well, that would be a great Vampire movie.

Most of the scenes available on YouTube are spoilers. If Constantine has a problem it is with pacing, but it tells an interesting story. The trailer doesn’t give much away, but I’m not sure it does justice to the movie. Still it does give you a flavor of what is going on. Anyway, Constantine. You might enjoy it. I have no idea if it is streaming anywhere like Amazon Prime, but I wouldn’t be surprised…

Update: If you do see the film, don’t miss the extra scene at the end of the credits.

5 thoughts on “Constantine

    • I’m a sucker for movies based on comics that I like, even when they screw up the adaptation.

      And for a long time Hollywood did nothing but screw up adaptations. Until Sam Raimi came along and paid homage to the Spider-Man intellectual property and made a boat load of money doing it, comics were a joke to Hollywood. Well, given how they screwed them up… And they are still screwing them up.

      Road to Perdition. 300. Sin City. The Old Guard. Those they managed to do well.

      Constantine. They didn’t screw up.

      The worst example of “Let’s completely ignore the source material” in recent memory is probably Firebreather That was an epic fail due to “but shouldn’t he have a secret identity?” Duncan Roseblatt is the son of Margarete Rosenblatt and Belloc, King of the Kaiju, who is basically a very large dragon. In the graphic novel everyone knows this. Margarete stopped the Kaiju destruction of St Louis I think, and their divorce/custody agreement for Duncan is enforced by special branch of the UN. In the adaptation, he has to have a secret identity, because as far as the suits are concerned that is “how things are done.” Even when they shouldn’t be.

      Like

  1. I liked it very much. The premise is sound, theologically, and dark enough to be just chilling.

    The play between good and evil and all the shades in between was well done.

    Special effects are top notch. Some may seem slow developing, but that slow development gives the picture some ‘Lovecraftian’ feel (not showing the evil thing, but alluding to it just around the corner) so that when the evil finally shows up, there’s a very good buildup of tension.

    The portrayal of the Devil by Peter Stormare was chilling. No longer the Morningstar, God’s favorite, now he’s very mentally unstable.

    Overall, much better than the TV series that failed to build the tension, even though the series supposedly followed the comic book more closely.

    And, I like Keanu Reeve’s ‘wooden’ delivery style. Then again, I also like Nicolas Cage.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One of my favorites. The movie is stolen by Storamare playing Satan. The plot is great, there are true to life characters, who hasn’t run into someone who has made a mistake he is desperately trying to put right. The movie is filled with great characters. See this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Wednesday Linkage « Bacon Time !!!!!!

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