(actually, I still think that Keanu Reeves is probably more interesting than the movie, so it does make sense)
I haven't read the comic books it's inspired from, so even though I am a bit of a comics geek, it's not an "expert" opinion on it.
I did encounter John Constantine in a few Neil Gaiman's comics, though (he appears in Sandman and in 'Books of Magic'), but he was not noticeably British in them to my eyes of non-native English speaker.
So it didn't bother me at all that in the movie, the character was not British either, had black instead of blond hair, and had the face of Keanu Reeves.
Except for the fact that it's hard for me to think of Keanu Reeves as someone else than Keanu Reeves. But eeh. Not only his fault.
And locating it in L.A. was probably less expensive, but maybe London would have given another taste to the movie, honestly I don't know.
Overall impression is : "pretty pictures, not tremendously original, some interesting ideas and imagery though, and I didn't see the final twists coming. But then I wasn't looking for them either."
Other than that, swearing and giving the finger does not you a bad ass make.
I was disappointed by that part of the movie, actually. I read short reviews saying that for once he played a "anti-hero", and knowing Alan Moore (who wrote the comics), excepted something pretty dark.
Instead of what, the "one life he ruined" is his, which isn't a lot to make you unworthy of going to heaven, he's rude to strangers (Rachel Weisz, the times he meets her), and not very nice to his annoying sidekick (that I'd gladly kick, myself, because he *is* annoying).
Boohoo. Oh, the evil.
Oh wait, and he uses big weapons and sneaky tricks to kill demons. But cruelty to demons doesn't count as being evil, as Mutant Enemy would teach you.
Ah, but maybe his fate was sealed and his anti-hero status was achieved by the "most evilest" thing that thou shall not do : he SMOKES! Gasp, shock, horror. *roll eyes*
But he gets due punishment for this sin. *nods*
Things I liked :
- Tilda Swinton as Gabriel. *She* believed in her part. Scarily so. Has seen her in "The Beach" and she was scarily convincing in that one, too. Also she looks so pretty and so much like an androgynous angel out of a comic books.
- "Do I have to take the rest of my clothes off?"
"... I'm thinking"
Yes it was corny, but it amused me. And looking back at it, I think it was funnier that Keanu did *not* give her the "Yeah baby" look / smile than most other actors would have done in his place for that situation. Sometimes being funny is to not play funny.
- they don't kiss. Stereotyped requirements of action / sci-fi flicks get on my nerves a lot lately. Apparently I'm not the only one
- the smart tricks : holy water, last blessings, etc...
Things I didn't like :
- Lucifer. The actor was okay, and the "white suit but dirty feet" touch was well thought, but since it's set in DC Comics / Vertigo universe, I was expecting to see Morningstar.
- Balthazar. I kept thinking of Julian McMahon in "Charmed" (as a demon it was his name). The mob "son of Pacino" look was... *sigh* Whatever floats your boat.
- stupid plot holes : so Constantine ties around Angela's (ah, there was this, too... "Angela". For a pawn of God. Dear gods) neck an amulet to protect her, but it stays in her jacket's pocket when she leaves the car to help him? Uh... Don't they have a script? If you needed her unprotected in the screenplay, then don't make this amulet something important in the movie.
- too many "bullet time" scenes. Though at least some of them were justified, unlike in other movies I won't name...
Random notes :
- Keanu's hands really are huge. They covered Rachel's tummy like a big pale spider.
- *adds Hellblazer to comics-to-read list* (I didn't want to read it before seeing the movie to avoid the "Gniiiii, it's not like that in the book!" effect)
- they showed his belly scar. Someone ought to use that in a screenplay, ya know.