I love sci-fi and horror, so thought I’d check this out. The movie was unfortunately a disappointment, which may or may not have been because the trailer looked amazing. It wasnt terrible by any means… just average.
Reeves plays John Constantine, a freelance demon hunter who, after being damned by God after a suicide attempts to buy his way back into heaven by purging earth of half-breed demons (the only ones allowed to exist on Earth - pure-bloods cant “cross over”). He’s also dying of cancer, hence the would be sense of urgency to his choices.
Thats a nice idea that could have been great, but there’s one problem and his initials are KR. I like him, but not in this. He is NOTHING like the comic book character. John Constantine in the comics is a middle-aged Englishman with blond hair and a cynical sense of humor. Instead, we get Neo of the Matrix again, and that just won’t do. Personally, I think Clive Owen would have been perfect for the job with a bleached hair do.
Also, the movie pre-supposes that you are up to speed on the comic books, and things just happen with little or no explanation except for one scene mid-way through at a coffee bar which might as well have EXPOSITION flashing in neon at the top of the screen. Even that only gives us some idea of what Keanu is trying to do, but nowhere near enough. In a movie based on a little known comic book that’s big no-no, especially with a script this weak and Keanu sleepwalking through his role.
Everyone else is fine though. Rachel Weisz is especially convincing as the dark and moody psychic heroine, and the guy who plays Lucifer is spot on with a wonderfully hideous sneer.
But really folks, if we can’t have a plot and a convincing lead, we want effects and action. Sadly, even that takes a good fifty minutes to kick in and there isn’t enough of it. What there is rocks though, especially where Reeves (with a little help) takes on a room of fifty demons with a silver stake gun, a couple of incredible-looking visions of hell and a pitch black confrontation with winged demons. There are also a couple of eerie scenes with a possessed mexican who seems to kill everything he touches. But its a case of not enough, and much too late.
Material like this deserves a much better adaptation, and it deserves only 5 out of 10.