The movie does an admirable job of capturing the spirit and suspense of Hellblazer's worlds and Reeves inhabits the role well, even if it's not quite the version we would have wanted (see the TV series for that version).
Underrated. An Elseworlds take that works best in realist EXORCIST mode, less so when CGI.
This movie would have been a 9 with Matt Ryan in it.
Occult detective John Constantine, of spiky hair and snark, trenchant and trenchcoated, is the bastard scion of Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, and John Totleben. First crashing the stage in their epochal Swamp Thing (1985), he was inspired by Punk-era Sting, particularly his look in the film Quadrophenia and edge in Brimstone and Treacle. A postpunk piss-take on noir detective conventions given a sin spin, John absconded into his own R-rated series under the Vertigo Comics imprint for two decades.
This film interpretation is an elseworlds take, swapping looks and location, that still conveys the essence in a compellingly crafted story. Many took issue with Angelino Keanu Reeves replacing the bleached scouse, but it's still John in story and spirit. Director Francis Lawrence trysts the style of Chinatown with The Exorcist admirably, based on Ellis and Simpson's storyline "Dangerous Habits" (1991). The film works best by mood and evocation, and is lifted by startling turns from the beatific Tilda Swinton and unnerving Peter Stormare.
Purists rejoiced when John resurrected in purer impurity in the eponymous TV series (2014), wholly intact and a holy terror. This rebooted the character in the mainstream mind in his truer guise. (By unnoted default, both versions are among the best adaptations of Alan Moore to the screen.) Cancelled after 13 episodes, he transcended networks to haunt the series Arrow. Like an earworm, a bad penny, and ill wind, his refrain remains the same.