Constantine ★★★★★

Francis Lawrence brought the anti-hero of the Hellblazer comics to life with a vibrancy that defied the negative reviews it received. When you step into the world of a comic book you want the most colorful and effective use of your storyboard. Lawrence does just that with a movie that has some of the most stunning imagery of recent years. They may well be broad strokes, but they work beautifully in a terrific adaptation full of theological mysticism and biblical hokum that stays true to the comic book.
Keanu Reeves is the exorcist John Constantine who has from an early age been able to see both angels and demons. Following a failed suicide attempt at 15 he is however damned to eternity in Hell when he finally shuffles off this mortal coil. In the meantime though he battles the forces of evil in Los Angeles with a young Shia Labeouf as a sidekick. A cynic who also has terminal lung cancer, he's not exactly a people person as he strives for a way out of his forthcoming death and date with Satan. Drawn into a mumbo-jumbo plot involving the "Spear Of Destiny", a psychic, the Arch-Angel Gabriel and demons galore, you do need to leave plausibility at the door and embrace the lunacy. If you can you may well enjoy this as much as I have for the last 9 years or so and especially on blu ray this looks fantastic. Hell is brought to life in all its unholy glory and with the special effects crew working overtime here, the visuals steal the thunder from a cast that does have some real class acts among them.
We get Peter Stormare as the devil (inspired casting). Tilda Swinton as androgynous Angel Gabriel, Djimon Hounsou as a neutral witch-doctor and Rachel "I wish I married Andy instead of Daniel" Weisz as a detective whose twin sister has a large part to play in a ending of the world as we know it. As a supernatural thriller this ticks all the boxes for me. It does have a slight silly factor which I can happily overlook, but don't all comic book adaptations?

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