Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Movie review: "Constantine"

"Constantine" is one more in line of older movies I planned to watch. I knew it was based on comic, featuring guy fighting demons. Few friends recommended it as a good watch.

The movie definitely has that "comic-books" feel. I can't pinpoint it, but it has the same feel as older "Batman" movies. It features a contemporary world, but with difference that Hell, Heaven, angels and demons are real and are in constant war. Heaven and Hell made a pact about not directly involving themselves in this fight, so they efforts are realized by proxies. John Constantine (played by Keanu Reeves) is a private detective, specialized in fighting against demons; he was able to see them since he was a child. His main problem is that because of his visions he tried to kill himself; thus his soul is intended for hell. He is (unsuccessfully) trying to repent it by destroying demons, doing Heaven's dirty work. He will get involved with Angela Dodson, a police officer trying to solve her twin-sister's alleged suicide. This will take them in the middle of plot between Hell and Heaven...

First part of the movie is very good. Of course, you have to accept that this is a comic-book adaptation and know what to expect. Constantine is witty and dark bad-ass with a comic sidekick; there is a bar where demons and humans mingle together; Church get regular visits from angels; there is a nerd-guy selling dragon's breath... The usual stuff. Nevertheless, it is all well.

First part of the movie is focused on worldbuilding and this is the best part of the movie. Second half of the movie, focusing on Dodson-twins-plot is not so good. Things are rushed at moments and then dragged for unnecessary time. I completely lost interest about the fate of main characters during this time. I think that this setting has a potential, but decision to focus on this case was a wrong one. The ending is then again very good. It was totally predictable, but it was good anyway. A well-guessed combination of humor, drama and action.

In summary, "Constantine" is good-enough movie for fans of similar-movies, but it doesn't succeed in in fully utilizing this setting. I hope that there will be sequel, but better that this one. Other than that, it is an OK movie for spending an evening watching it.

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