Could've been better but still a fun ride!8/10
My first sort-of mistake was going to see Constantine at 11:30 A.M.; this would have been a much better experience in a nighttime atmosphere I feel. In fact, I'm thinking about going again this weekend at night.
That being said, I still enjoyed this movie immensely. For starters, I actually thought Keanu was quite good in the role, and it didn't take long to forget drawing comparisons to Neo. I haven't read the comics, but I thought Keanu did a great job with the role... I laughed and winced right along with him, not at him! All the supporting actors (yes, Shia LeBeouf included) were great, and my only issue is that they didn't get enough screen time to explore their characters further. Djimon Hounsou was especially cool as Papa Midnite... with a name like that, how can you not be?! Finally, Rachel Weisz deserves the "better than the movie" comments she's been getting in reviews. Yes, she is that good, and she's pretty foreign to genre work (but should definitely do more)! I can't believe I'd only seen her in About a Boy before this; her magnetism had almost got me to pick up Confidence and Runaway Jury at the video store (which I have not. Yet). For one, she does a damn good American accent - I had forgotten that she's British. I'm sure many other reviewers will put this in better words than me, but she really adds a whole new level to this movie. Her performance is easily the most daring and heartfelt of the bunch, and I'd even go as far to call it subtly exquisite... a phrase I don't hesitate to equate with the actress herself. If Rachel Weisz had not been a part of Constantine I wouldn't have liked it half as much as I did. Even if you're not a Keanu or genre fan, I'd still check this movie out if you (like yours truly ;) have a thing for gorgeous, talented under-the-radar actresses.
Onto special effects. Pretty darn impressive, if you ask me. NEXT! I'm definitely very tempted to check out the Hellblazer comics because I really love the mythology and style of the Constantine universe. I mean, Hell as a parallel dimension to our own world? How cool is that? Certainly less banal than most movie versions of Hell. The story is based around Catholicism, and it's just how I like my organized religion -- all twisted! All in all, Constantine was made up of a lot of things that I really love in my movies: detailed fantasy universe, fun characters, good effects and action, and of course, the vulnerable-but-butt kicking woman. Yay! The major problem with the film, I feel, was bringing all of its elements together. Throughout the film I kept thinking to myself what I would've done differently. There was so much crammed into it that every single character and plot point felt underused and ignored -- not one thing was explored deeply enough for my satisfaction. They should have chosen just a few elements of this complex universe and story arc for this movie and left the other stuff for subsequent Hellblazer flicks (which I hope there will be!).
So basically, the parts here are very interesting and cool and worth a look-see, but the whole just can't service all of them. Which is a damn shame. I left the theatre wanting MORE, wanting to know more about the characters and what living in their universe was like. MORE, darnit!! While Constantine is fun and nice in its own right, I would've really liked to see it expanded to its potential. Oh well! At least there's the fantastic Rachel Weisz, so I can't complain further ;) Last words: I want to see it again! Maybe not buy the DVD but definitely rent it. Oh, and those rumors about an extra (albeit short) scene after the credits are true, so STAY through them!