Friday, February 18, 2005


(spoilers, if you care)

Bad movie -- maybe one-and-a-half, two stars, the most. But I enjoyed it nevertheless. It was full of hysterically bad "Catholic" mythology. Every time I heard "Spear of Destiny" it was all I could do to stop keep myself from laughing.

However, there were a couple of parts that I enjoyed much more than I had any reason to -- one in which Constantine threatens to send a demon to Heaven, and proceeds to administer Last Rites to effect such a thing. The absurdity of this was delicious, particularly since Constantine is not a priest. The demon falls for the ploy and gives up the information Constantine was looking for, whereupon Constantine reminds him that you actually have to ask to be forgiven to receive absolution.

The other scene was even more complicated than that so I won't bother to say anything more than it was probably the most inappropriate time for an obscene gesture, ever.

Keanu is the same as ever. You know that going in, though, so it's neither a surprise nor a disappointment. FX were cool, appropriately ugly, and Gabriel completely rocked. But once again Hollywood nearly misses the point that evil is beautiful to the eye -- nearly. Balthazaar oozes beauty. Lucifer, not so much.

It was bad. I liked it anyway. I've never read any of the comic books and so am unhindered by preconceptions. Even so, I can see where major improvements could've been made in the pacing and ordering of the scenes, and in the design of some of the props, even. I had an impression of a bunch of film geeks sitting around saying "Wouldn't this be a cool scene?" (one in particular, where, apropos of nothing, a bunch of cows fall down) and everyone agreeing, and then figuring out where to stick it.

My friend Walter was typically down on this, but having obviously read the DC comics, he has a vastly different perspective. I'm intrigued by his idea of casting Dennis Leary as Constantine. That would've been brilliant.

It would've been even more brilliant if they had taken just the slightest trouble to get even some of the Catholic stuff right. Now, as with The DaVinci Code, we've got yet another pop culture event putting forth garbage as Catholic doctrine and practices. People, unfortunately, believe these things. It's just not helpful.

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