mosquitodragon’s review published on Letterboxd:
BONUS HORROR MOVIE #1
How did I completely forget about this movie? I caught this in the cinema when it came out and I remember really enjoying it. I saw this pop up on Amazon Prime so I thought it might be worth a rewatch.
It's funny how folks tend to label the 90's as the worst decade for horror, but man, pickings were a bit slimmer in the aughts, I reckon. It doesn't seem that way because there were a number of true classics, but the fact is there weren't a lot of horror flicks getting made outside the Platinum Dunes juggernaut in those days.
So, Constantine kind of stands out in the sense that it's a comic book adaptation with an emphasis on action, but it very much belongs in the horror genre. The depictions of hell and demons look fantastic to this day, surprising given how much they rely on CGI which should have dated, but doesn't seem to have, at least not to my eye.
It helps that we have such an amazing cast. Keanu feels more precious to us now than he did when this was made, and as far as Rachel Weisz goes, what can I say? I'm totally smitten by her anyway and she is just gorgeous here - putting in her usual classy performance to boot. But we also have a very young Shia LeBouef (not really a drawcard, frankly, but he's so young and fresh-faced here, he's actually quite good), Pruitt Taylor Vince as a tormented priest, Tilda Swinton looking pretty amazing, actually, as the androgynous Archangel Gabriel, Djimon Hounsou as a neutral (reminding me of the dynamic between Keanu and Ian McShane in John Wick), UK rocker Gavin Rossdale of Bush fame (I can't believe I called him a "rocker" - what am I, a breakfast radio DJ?) and, one I completely forgot, Peter Stormare fulfilling his obvious destiny by playing Satan himself.
Being from the aughts, it's too long (did Hollywood make any films in that decade which didn't run for exactly two hours?) and we don't get treated to quite as much hell action as I would have preferred (I guess CGI had to be used sparingly back then) so it's not flawless, but damn if this isn't a classy piece of genre fare!