If I get in one more knife fight with disgruntled comic book fans, just one, there’s gonna be the sorta hell to pay that nobody, not even some genetically engineered hybrid of Chuck Norris and Jeff Fahey, nobody, could possibly afford.
Stood outside the cinema, just about to touch the lighter-flame to the end of this cigarette stuck in my yap, a cigarette I won’t even taste, most likely, on account of I long ago lost the ability to taste either nicotine or diet coke, I pause for a moment, close my eyes. I think something along the lines of… oh shit.
Then, I gotta say, I think about maybe getting hold of the security tape from off of some Bit Torrent site since, let’s be honest, that was a cool as fuck pose right there.
Either side of me, and a couple yards ahead, comic book fans stood as silhouettes gainst the last strands of sunset, and all of them with carnage in their eyes.
The billboard thing behind me says CONS-AN-INE on account of some motherfucker stole the T‘s a while back, and I know there ain’t no option but to lift my heel and take out the blade I got concealed within.
The comic book fans all hold their breath. What’s it gonna be, The Duke?
The cigarette still ain’t lit.
I liked it.
It was a whole buncha fun.
Six hundred flick knives flick in unison.
Right in front of me, a motherfucker seven foot tall and drenched in the blood of folks who dug Daredevil, he steps right up. His t-shirt’s all ripped and tattered, but I still know it says Batman Begins Will OWN YOUR ASS!!!!!11111 since there’s a couple dozen folks got one just the same to my left.
He raises his right arm, the one with the machete, and there’s a roar from the masses.
Bring it on, I’m thinking, and then I think something else since Bring It On is a thing of great beauty, and with Kirsten in mind a man just can’t focus like he should on the sorta deranged violence he needs to be engaged in right the fuck now.
The head honcho leaps on me, teeth gritted so tight I see nothin’ but gums, and then he starts shouting at me. “That was fucking awful! Fuck Constantine! Fuck Keanu, see, fuck his arse!”
These comic fan types, they can get a tad uptight when maybe Hollywood decides to make a flick from out these characters and stories and ideas. If you were maybe planning on making a trilogy from out The Adventures Of Shin-Face or whatever the fuck, you can count on nothing less than pitch-black pessimism from these folks for the duration of the production.
Sure enough, soon as Hellblazer got the green light, soon as the chain-smoking cancer-suffering exorcist Constantine, a low-down motherfucker from the back-streets of Liverpool, (a low-down motherfucker who made his first appearance in a Swamp Thing comic, so I’m told), soon as that part was handed to Keanu Reeves, the folks from off the internet forums merged at the nucleus, a heaving mass of spiteful digital abandon dedicated to nothing less than the annihilation of Constantine – The Motion Picture, which, they assured one and all, would suck all sucking fuck.
The big fella’s glaring right into my very brains. “That abomination raped my one true love”, he’s saying.
I can’t help it. I can’t do a single thing except swing my arm round, and next thing I know there’s a spurt of geek-paste spraying up my jaw, and a wound on the fucker’s face, and what the wound says is – Cinematography, Fucker!
Constantine looks stunning, is the truth of it all. Every couple minutes there’s some image or some visual flourish that has a fella coming out the eye-holes. Demons with melting faces, dripping water hanging suspended in time, monsters made out of CGI locusts or flies or some shit. They even go so far as to have Keanu step into Doom 3 now and again. What the fuck’s not to love?
A meat-cleaver passes me, inches away from my nose, and right there, across the blade, it says Fuck The Doom 3. The Film Is The Work Of Imbeciles Who Never Once Read The Comic, I’ll Bet.
I had to assume the Comic, I’ll Bet bit, since the fella had run out of room. My advice is to write it in pencil first, so as you can rub it out and start again should you find yourself stuck for space.
I actually have some sympathy with this fella’s argument. I turn round, my left hand shoved into the face of the first bastard, my right hand brandishing a blade the size of a camper-van, and I look the meat-cleaver-flinger right in the tartan eyes.
I agree with you there, I holler.
I know how those Hollywood types been assaulting your beloved tales. They treat your literature with all the respect a drunken sex-limb might grant an exhaust-pipe lined with toilet-roll. Like you should be grateful they even took a second to read the stinkin thing, and if they wanna change things they’ll change em, on account of what the fuck do you know, anyhow?
They didn’t tell Baz Luhrmann to change a damn comma when he was putting together that Romeo And Juliet flick. They didn’t say all about “No, they can’t die, on account of The Target Demographic”. They didn’t say “Leave the poison out, test audiences say”, yet these producer cats change comic narratives left and right, and all because of some mystical “market” who won’t accept that the main character not only dies, but also, he probably dies in the middle of a threesome involving the president of the USA and the pope, whilst a couple Taliban wank themselves off in a circle-jerk held next door.
I’m pretty sure that’s how Archie ended. Maybe you comic types can fix me up on the details.
They forget that this flick will sink or swim depending on the folks who made the stories popular enough for a flick in the first place.
If ever they get that motion-film of Preacher up and running, I’ll be right here with you sons a bitches should they change Arseface to Butt-jaw or some shit, or have Cassidy a smooth Travolta-circa-79 type from out Tha Bronx, instead of a filthy drunken Irish vampire bastard.
So I respect that you fellas and gals are pissed off when suddenly Batman has nipples or whatever. But sometimes you need to look beyond the surface detail and take the flick on its own terms. A million years from now, all that’s gonna matter is, is this flick any good? Folks in the year 5034 aren’t gonna be yacking on about the fucking geography being fucked-up.
Who reads The Odyssey and complains that the fucker with one eye was supposed to have a limp? Nobody.
So you gotta step aside for a second, you bastards. Is Constantine good, you need to ask?
No, is the answer, but it’s a hella lotta fun, man.
I figured I’d got some kind of control of the situation, but about 59% of these barbarians were still growling at my every twitch.
I support you in many respects, I told them. If you asked me to sign an online petition about how the sequel needs to be more in keeping with the source material, I’ll sign that fucker right the hell up. Shit, I might even put up a link to it. But I enjoyed this right here.
For sure, this Constantine ain’t no Hulk, and it’s nowhere near as good as, say, X-Men 2 or Spider-Man 2 or Ichi The Killer, it doesn’t even deserve to be a trailer at the start of those flicks, but it’s enjoyable, man. It’s got a great exorcism at the start and it’s got cool time-standing-still effects and it even makes jokes about how generic it is some times, like when Keanu’s walking down a hall all fast like, and the lady-friend says to him about “I guess you got some information, hence the pace”. It reminded me of the bit in Baise-Moi when the two lasses yack about how they wish they had some sort of quip after they kill a fella.
Sadly, the producers didn’t take this Baise-Moi theme any further. I was hoping to see Keanu gettin it on in un-simulated close-up, or maybe sticking a pistol up a fella’s arse and shooting his guts out his face, but it never happened.
Maybe in the Unrated DVD he’ll do that.
There’s no doubting, however, that Keanu is indeed a bit miscast in the title role, a bit too pretty, a bit too nice for to be trying to convince us all that he’s a low-down bastard out to rid the world of demons just so as he can get in God’s good books again. All the chain smoking in the world ain’t gonna make him one ounce more of a cunt, even if he is riddled with cancer.
In fact, if he didn’t have cancer the smoking would be all the more hard-ass, I’d wager. He knows he’s fucked. Smoking with a pristine bill-of-health, willfully pissing a fine pair a lungs down the bog-hole, that’s some credible self-destruction right there.
Maybe he’s not the Constantine you had hoped for, but he’s likable. To be honest, I went in expecting a biopic of Paddy Considine, or Cuntsidine as I’ve christened him post-Dead Man’s Shoes, but I didn’t get that, an so I just had to make do with what I did get, which was a whole fuckload of Keanu, and it was fairly pleasant, truth be told.
What really shocked me, though, was the presence of Gavin Rossdale, i.e, That Fucker Out Bush. What the hell’s he doing here, I found myself thinking. I ain’t been this shaken by a development in a comic book flick since that cunt out Bros showed up in Blade II.
I got momentarily distracted, and the price to pay is a rock the size of a basketball up the teeth.
It’s an insult to the comic, a girl with a beard shouts.
Right there, I hunched down for a second before making the kinda gravity-defying leap only a fella with my knowledge of Pasolini could dream of making, bounding through the dying sunlight, landing right at the girl’s feet. She let a yelp of some kind, all surprised, but I grabbed hold her collar and pressed my mouth right up against her ear.
I know this is gonna be difficult for you to hear, I told her.
But I never even read the fucking comic.
Also, maybe when this is all over we can go sit in a café and I can tell you bout how sensitive I am.
Demented sadistic carnage ensued.
They might’ve been willing to accept the posthumous opinion of a man who liked Constantine if he had read the comic. But a motherfucker telling the world it was worth seeing when he hadn’t even sat hunched over Hellblazer ever even once, even though he knew that a couple issues had Shane MacGowan quotes at the start, and that one of the graphic novel things is named after Rake At The Gates Of Hell, one of the finest of all Pogues recordings, well, that kinda shit wasn’t gonna wash, not here, not ever.
Fifty-three or fifty-four kicks to the guts later, I’m on my back in a puddle of shit and puke.
In times like this, when all seems lost anyway, there ain’t nothing a man can do but tip the scales that tiny bit further.
I got my hand round a police baton that not seventeen minutes ago had been up the balls of a big lad with a blow-torch, and gripping that handle, all I could do was grin and blink the blood out my eyes.
I tell them…
By the way…
I fucking loved Daredevil.
I wasn’t lying.
The Duke resides at Mondo Irlando