Forlorn and resentful to the core and yet the hero hopes to have his redemption while saving humanity from the gates of hell!
Based on the popular “Hellblazer” series from DC Comics in-house, mature readers division imprint! A straight in your face take of your typical hero but with an attitude to boot!
The story was based from its graphic novels, dark and gritty combined with great special effects that bring the two worlds to come alive! I could say it was meticulously done from the Production group. Writers Kevin Brodbin and Frank Capello did a wonderful Screenplay that signified the course of the film’s premise! Even Garth Ennis and Jamie Delano gave pointers from the “Dangerous Habits” and “Original Sins” story arcs to give Constantine more in depth analysis of his character and his conflicts in life!
I thank God that this was handled with precaution as Lauren Donner and Michael Uslan gave their utmost supervision for the Production of the film to flow freely! Even though Akiva Goldsman who wrote the abysmal, blasphemous “Batman & Robin” and “Lost in Space” was here, he did Produced and wrote films that worth watching like “Cinderella Man”, “A Beautiful Mind” and the upcoming Marvel Comics action adventure “The Dark Tower”, at least this was not hurtful to the eyes!
Movie’s next attraction “Water for Elephants” Director Francis Lawrence gave this film a whole new perspective for the genre packed with supernatural admonition and guts even though minor changes were made for the character to resemble a more contemporary look and make it easier to relate compared to the comic book’s character in which he had a different wardrobe and was much older looking!
Philippe Rousselot is commended here for his vision and mindset for the film, he gave us brilliantly shot films “I am Legend”, “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory” and the recent Sherlock Holmes which has surreal to the senses giving it life and spontaneity, all blockbusters and well made!
One of comics’ anti-heroes that focuses on the occult, demons and angels and everything in between, he sets out to cleanse the world from putrid monsters who wants to enslave mankind and offer it to the Devil himself! Talk about your stressful, tacky desk job which concerns narrow minded clients, never ending phone calls and pencil pushing Supervisors. In his case well, it would be a metaphor, boring enough to say comparing his present situation where the ones he’s after wants to literally rip him apart and get down to business!
Keanu Reeves (The Matrix) plays demon detective John Constantine! Able to see and communicate with half-breeds, he took his life at an early age and now amends his will for retirement, hunting the degenerates of hell is all in a day’s work for the main protagonist! Every hero has a decision to make and Constantine gives it full circle to redeem himself and make the ultimate sacrifice!
Always the monotonous type of guy but his exuberance for the job makes both ends meet by the end of the day. I was impressed that Keanu was able to deliver his role and gave this project a decent earning in the box office giving a worldwide estimated gross of $230 M.
Joining him is sidekick cabbie Shia LeBeouf (Eagle Eye) as Chas Kramer whose endless curiosity and headstrong demeanor gave him the chance to do better films in the long run. No longer being a supporting cast to blockbuster films which includes alien robots that have superiority complex issues!
For the supporting cast, Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener) in a dual role as a cop and a suicide case twin sister both of which has an eye for the grave and beyond! Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond) another fan favorite is the mediator Papa Midnite who sides with John and avoid Armageddon on both worlds! Peter Stormare (The Big Lebowski) as the greedy for his throne Lucifer and Tilda Swinton (Narnia The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe) as the infamous Gabriel who should I say was pivotal for the story to conclude its premise! To add, Bush front man Gavin Rossdale was great, he plays Balthazar, let’s just say he was a good nuisance and a thorn to John’s side, acting wise was pretty decent compared to some actors who still needs classes to make it to the next grade!
The film is well shot and combining the CGI aspects from Hell and Earth from turfs of Los Angeles was absolutely amazing! Giving more emphasis the highway with corroding cars and buildings burning for all eternity was a great concept for the underworld!
It was slowly paced but still gave great moments, a mind numbing film that will leave you gasping for air! Watch it preferably when lights have gone out to give it a more atmospheric feel. Kudos for the exceptional work of the visuals and art department! Wish Francis would come back for a sequel and bring the whole team back because you’ll never know when the demons from hell will go for another round to settle the score!
Speaking of which Warner Bros. is developing another take for the cursed Demonologist being part of the DC Extended Universe’s “Justice League Dark” and leading the pack of contenders for the role are Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell! Hopefully all things fall into place in given time.