At long last I'm finally watching The Sandman show this week, but why not look at some related movies too?
I will admit I'm not terribly familiar with John Constantine, but I get the basic idea. Middle aged down to earth bloke from England fights demons and monsters with magic, a concept as easy to grasp as gravity for me, and indeed the first time I encountered the character was in the infancy issues of Sandman. Plus I've been meaning to take a look at his two animated films for a wee while anyway. So John has been called in as a favor from an old friend who suspects foul play when his young daughter slips into a coma, and immediately shit hits the fan real hard leading John to travel to the City of Angels to rescue the daughter's soul from an enterprising demon. The first thing I gotta tell you is, this movie does not fuck about. At all. It is pure mature audiences only, there is more gore and horrific deaths in this than there was in that animated Mortal Kombat movie, so many cuss words, and even a semi(?) sex scene without any of the visual stimulus. That was a wake up call and a half let me tell you. But it was an interesting and engaging film, it goes for gruesomely out there and succeeds quite well. Since it deals with demons and magic there are plenty of cool animation details that make it visually great. Matt Ryan was really really good as Constantine, a pretty smug and yet average guy who's trying to do right but is far from your heroic boy scout archetype, the man smokes like a chimney and drinks more than Raymond Carver and has some attitude. A welcome change of pace in the wide world of comics. Damian O'Hare as John's best friend Chas brings more of that humanity and emotion to it, he fully knows John is a magic man which is an aspect I greatly liked, no need to keep secrets, and you by God want to see him get his daughter back but Jesus wept this movie takes like a foot long knife and just twists that shit but not at all in the way you think. Robin Atkin Downes as the villain Nergal (totally not tentacled dickhead from Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy) is an asssshooooole in this, obviously because the movie goes in such unadulterated dark shit he is just one evil sum'bitch you hate unconditionally, so hey big props to them for that. It's feature length so it takes it's time and while not everything is explained, it's magic you don't have to, and you do kinda have to just roll with it I feel it still works if this is your first exposure to the character. There be no origins stories here, everything is established and ready to be enjoyed if you can stomach the just jaw dropping amounts of gore. I can't recall the last animated project that was this blood soaked but shittin' hell man I've done over 1,000 of these things, it's a miracle I remember what I did yesterday. So all in all it was a good film, very happy I saw it but could only recommend to certain people instead of everybody. I give it 3 stars, 7.5/10, and tomorrow's example is even more deeprooted in the mythos of the Endless.