Monday, February 21, 2005

The Devil Doesn't Get His Due

I was checking the box office results for the weekend this morning and I was surprised and disheartened at the same time to see that Constantine was beat out by Hitch for the weekend. True it was only a 1.3 million difference ($31.8M for Hitch and $30.5M for Constantine), but just knowing that more people would rather go to an extremely crappy Will Smith comedy that looks horribly unappealing then go to see an introspective action movie about a man working to save his soul makes me sad. Maybe the fact that Constantine starred Keanu Reeves scared people away. I know he's reviled by many movie watchers, and Will Smith, no matter how horrendous of a movie he is in, seems to get audiences to flock to see him.

I also don't understand all of the negative reviews for Constantine. Sure, Keanu isn't the best actor in the world, but I think his emotional detachment schtick that he uses in every movie he's in actually works this time. John Constantine is a man who's seen everything there is to see, which I think might lead someone to be a little jaded and flat, especially knowing that no matter what you seem to do, you're still doomed to go to hell. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that I'd rather see Keanu in a dark, action flick than Will Smith in any type of comedy any day. The only movies that Smith has been in that I've actually found watchable were I, Robot and Independence Day and the only reason I liked those two movies was for the eye candy. I could have cared less who the actors were in either of them so having Will Smith play the leads didn't matter to me.

What I also find amazing is that critics are always on Keanu's case for playing the same part in every movie when Hollywood darling Smith is just as guilty. It doesn' matter what movie he's been in (Bad Boys, Independence Day, Wild Wild West, I Robot, whatever), he's never played a character other than himself in the title role. He's always got the hard-ass look when he needs it and the same smiling comedic relief when the story needs it. He never deviates from playing himself in a movie. I am probably one of the few people on the planet that thinks this, but I feel that Keanu has slightly more acting chops than Smith does, but Smith is loved by everyone because he's charismatic in most of his roles as opposed to reserved and detached.

Anyhow, to get back to where I was originally going, I thought Constantine was a really good movie that didn't play out like an average Hollywood blockbuster. It actually felt like there was thought, time, and love put into this movie instead of simply using a stock movie template and adding a couple of twists to it. Go see Constantine. Even if you hate Keanu, go see it. Don't let your blind hatred of Reeves cloud a great movie that he actually manages to play a decent part in. It's a good movie, even if all the critics were paid to say otherwise.

No comments: