Constantine (2005)

When I went into the theater to see Constantine I thought I prepared myself for the worst. I didn’t read the graphic novel this movie was based on. I decided not to look it up. I made that mistake before—I looked up The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen graphic novel before I saw that movie. BIG MISTAKE—I almost walked out of the theater on that one. I wanted to go to the theater with an open mind. I even read a few negative reviews about Constantine, so that I would not expect much and would surprise myself by really enjoying the movie. That didn’t happen.

I was so frustrated with this movie I didn’t want to write a review. I thought, why bother. I would be too negative. I would turn people off when in reality it’s not that bad if you’re a Keanu Reeves fan.

Before I get all over Keanu’s ill-acting ass, let me state for the record that I love movies that deal with the occult. I was a fan of Buffy and Angel. And now that Medium is out I watch it too. Because of my love for the occult I sat though movies far worse—like Lord of Illusions. It was only few years ago when I saw it again I realized how bad this movie really was. Brrr.

That’s the beauty of the big screen – it’s forgiving. It overwhelms you with big sound and glitzy lights and you don’t care that there are problems with the story. But in order for you to suspend the disbelief the story it has to be cohesive. The acting has to be impeccable. And that’s what was missing for me in Constantine.

Very quickly I would like to say that the visual effects, and the cinematography in this movie were wonderfully done. And that everyone (including Rachel Weisz) was great in the movie. My beef is with Keanu Reeves and the plot.

The plot had wholes like Swiss cheese. I am not going to give anything away. I’ll just say that there were things unexplained … that really needed to be explained. There were characters that did not need to be there. And some characters that were really interesting were killed off way too early in the movie. I went into the theater with a friend who was really bothered by all that. He kept on looking at his watch wondering when the movie would be over. But the thing is—the timing of the movie did not bother me. I could have forgiven it all had the lead actor was someone else.

If there were someone else in the lead, someone with more intensity I would not mind Constantine so much, but Keanu Reeves can’t act. It’s a simple fact. You can argue with me ‘till you’re blue in the face, but I am not going to budge on that one. The reason the Matrix worked is because the story was so unusual, and the character Keanu played was supposed to be that wooden, geeky, uncomfortable in his own skin type. The thing is that’s how he plays all his parts. That’s how he portrayed John Constantine. “Whoa” won’t work in this role.

There was no conflict – which was supposed to have been there. There was no humor. There was only Keanu Reeves pretending to be frustrated with cigarettes. So when I left the theater all I could think of was that the last two hours were a very long, mystical and tedious anti-smoking advert.

So if you’re a fan of Keanu Reeves—you disregard all of the above and boldly go to the theater. He’s at his best – his typical. If you’re like me and you like the occult—wait to rent the DVD. And if you are none of the above, don’t bother—this movie is not for you.

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