A/V Room









Constantine - US reaction

Compiled by: Jack Foley

THE Box Office success of Constantine looks to have gifted Keanu Reeves with another franchise, should he want it.

But the response from American critics was decidedly mixed - with many hating it, others unimpressed, and a few declaring it to be one hell of a great movie.

The Los Angeles Times, however, fell into the negative camp, stating that 'despite some witty special effects and an appealing concept, Constantine meanders in too many directions to make much sense even to itself'.

While USA Today lamented: "So where are we? In two hours of Dullsville, as Sinatra used to say."

Entertainment Weekly, meanwhile, concluded that 'viscerally, I feel shut out of the fun'.

While the New York Times opined that 'Keanu Reeves plays a haunted, expressionless traveler in an overblown theological thriller based on the DC/Vertigo comic book Hellblazer'.

Newsday felt it 'takes too long telling a story that could have delivered maximum impact in less time'.

And the Washington Post pointed out that 'the screenplay by Frank A. Cappello and Kevin Brodbin is only interesting for a few characters, hardly the story'.

Of the positives, however, Hollywood Reporter was pleased to report that Constantine is 'one of those rare pulpy page-to-screen translations that actually gets it right'.

While Arizona Republic wrote that 'occult detective, John Constantine (Reeves), has seen it all and responds to the most hideous threat with a puff on his cigarette and a self-assured leap into the abyss'.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer was also keen, stating that 'Lawrence keeps the story on track and doesn't cheat the world of Constantine, which embraces good, evil, unforgiving judgment and the human ambiguities that offer the possibility for forgiveness'.

While wrote: "I believe in Satan, Hell, demons walking the Earth, and Keanu Reeves as a cancer-ridden exorcist. Stay until after the credits for a denouement."

And opined: "Once you let yourself fall into its rising hellfire, you'll get caught up in its thrilling storyline, ominous ambiance, and wild and weird action sequences."

But the Chicago Tribune lamented that 'although the story is potentially fascinating and the visuals sometimes spellbinding, the movie itself is stranded in the purgatory of the second-rate'.

And the Dallas Morning News wrote that 'Constantine deals, at least in part, with its title character's attempt to cross over from hell to heaven. But there's no uncertainty about the movie's fate. It quickly heads south'.

The movie opens in the UK on March 18.

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