Vertigo comic's have charted the discomforting exploits of noisome con magus John Constantine for over the past decade.
A combination of rich deep cynicism, mixed with black magic and the wry dose of costic humour, HellBlazer was the quintissential british voice amongst a sea of Americana, so it is with some reservation that fans see the antagonistic anit-hero relocated to L.A., no mere jaunt from the seedy locales of old London town.
It is with much kudos to Francis Lawrence that he makes it work, not only in a main-stream HollyWood location, but with a mainstream HollyWood actor.
Keanu Reeve's to his credit, is effortlessly jaded and bitter as the luciferous Constantine, and the down-beat atmosphere lingers like hex in the air, noxious, dark and very much in keeping with it's literary roots.
The plot is thick with gum-shoe staples, juxtaposed with supernatural overtones and macabre religious hexeri. A mix of thrills, action and intrigue, the jump between worlds harkens towards the Dante esque, the true nature of the beast slowly unravels with Constantines sleuthery.
Scraping the bleak surface of an already grimy underbelly Constantine hits all the right notes as a supernatural play on old school pulp, where the devil you know isn't always better than the devil you don't.