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(Review originally written at 16 July 2005)

With all the negative press this movie was receiving, I never was really much interested in watching this movie. Still for some reason I decided to give this movie a chance and I'm glad I did! "Constantine" is spectacular and gorgeously visual looking.

"Constantine" can be simply described as a mix of "The Exorcist" and "Blade" because well...John Constantine is a Blade like exorcist. For some reason this movie was poorly advertised. From the advertises and trailers I couldn't really tell what for a kind of character John Constantine was and what this movie was about, also since I never even had heard of the comic books this movie is based on. Had this movie been better advertised, I'm sure it would had attracted more people to see it.

Maybe best thing about the movie are the special effects. They are truly most excellent, scary and gory at times. It makes this movie visual wonderful to look at. Also the atmosphere is better than expected. OK it ain't really a comic book kind of atmosphere but it's a good dark, almost horror like atmosphere. This movie works fine as an horror as well as an action movie...and as an anti-smoking campaign. The movie has more than a few spectacular and scary moments.

The story is a bit too complicated at times. I don't think that the story itself is that complex but it's just the way it is told. Rookie director Francis Lawrence still has obviously some things to learn about movie-storytelling but nevertheless this is an impressive and most certainly entertaining debut movie from him.

Keanu Reeves of course wouldn't had been my first choice as the hero but he pulls of alright. At least he isn't laughable unbelievable in his role or anything but he also ain't exactly cool enough. Rachel Weisz also pulls of alright but her performance certainly isn't worth all the praise she is receiving over here. In my opinion she really isn't believable as a cop. Can you just imaging her arresting a big tough criminal? Really good were Djimon Hounsou (finally in a 'normal' role, I was getting sick of seeing him playing typical Africans like he did in for instance "Amistad", "Gladiator", "Stargate" and "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life".) and Peter Stormare as the greatly sarcastic Lucifer. Shia LaBeouf is also a good young actor with already an impressive CV. Surely a name we will hear a lot more about in the near future.

Don't let all the negative press scare you off from watching this movie. "Constantine" is a gorgeously looking and entertaining horror/action movie.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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