Wednesday, March 7, 2018
A month at the movies #7: Constantine
I could live with Keanu Reeves as the very British John Constantine, and I could even handle the part where Constantine starts blasting the demon scum away with his magic holy shotgun.
But 13 years after it came out, I still can't forgive that ending, where Constantine - having literally faced his demons to cure himself of a very nasty cancer – gets out a stick of gum and starts chewing away, because he has learned a Very Important Lesson about smoking and stuff.
It just so totally misunderstands the character, and is a deep misinterpretation of the scene from Garth Ennis and Will Simpson's Dangerous Habits comic story, which so much of the movie ripped off. In the comic, Constantine lights up another smoke, even after the cancer, because he's cocky and confident enough that if he gets cancer again, he'll just cheat the devil again to sort it out again. Easy. It's what he does, it's what he is.
John Constantine doesn't chew gum, he smokes his life away and then runs away from hell. If you don't get that, you don't get the character, and why the hell are you bothering?