John Constantine has been one of my favorite comic book characters for years. He’s near and dear to my heart. So when I first heard they were doing a movie, I was excited! Until I heard it was Keanu Reeves playing John. Nothing against the former Wyld Stallyn, but I just didn’t think he could pull off the almost-charming snark that John so desperately needs. And he didn’t. Which brings me to the point of this post. After avoiding the movie because I’d heard it was SO bad, I finally watched it.
And I’m kinda glad I did.
While Reeves failed to live up to my expectation of who John Constantine is, he didn’t fail in /every/ aspect. He brought the “asshole” part of John, I felt. Little things through out the movie that made me go “oh! There’s Constantine! I saw him there for just a second!” Like (spoiler alert! Of course, this did come out in 2005. So bite me.) when John’s being glided off to Heaven and he flips Lucifer the finger over his shoulder with this satisfied smirk on his face. Just brilliant. If we could’ve had that attitude the whole way through, my list of complaints would be MUCH smaller.
It sadly felt a little more formulaic that I would’ve liked. Take away the comic book reference, and it’s your run-of-the-mill apocalypse-impending, demonic-possession movie that we’ve seen a million times. I don’t feel like it brought much NEW to the table; though John did pull some tricks that you don’t normally see, I felt they were a little too understated and got lost in the rest of the movie. But as a comic book movie, I will rate it fairly higher than what I expected to. I’ll place it over Catwoman, Daredevil, and maybe even Ghost Rider. I’ll even go so far as to say it was on-par with the crappier X-Men movies for me. WOULD I watch it again? Sure. Will I go out of my way to? Probably not. Some supporting characters were very well done, Lucifer was better than I expected, Gabriel was captivating, and I think any Constantine fan should give this movie a once-over. It’s not what we wanted, but it’s not a total loss.
But this all does get me even more hyped up about the prospect of a Justice League Dark movie. Constantine didn’t extinguish any hope that JLD can be done right. Watch the blog for more on JLD.