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Big budget demon-hunter movie starring Keanu Reeves, based on the comic series "Hellblazer." Good effects, sufficient way to kill time. The thing worth commenting on is that all the demons with more than 30 seconds of screen time are either foreigners or non-whites.

I noticed the trend from the first opening scenes, in which Keanu performs an exorcism on a Latino or Asian girl. She does the usual jumping up and down in bed, contorting her face, funny demonic voice speaking a funny language. Except the voice wasn't super demonic. If you took a clip of that voice and didn't tell someone it was from a movie about demons, you'd think it was just an angry old woman yelling in a foreign language. Really I'm not this uptight about noticing race, but I was thinking about how Carrie and The Exorcist are supposed to be all about the fear of young women hitting puberty, hormones running through them like demons or like hellish powers out of their control, a real terror as far as men are concerned. I figured the same fears could motivate someone to have an Asian girl flopping around on a bed.

This could be a projection of my own fear of other races or people speaking foreign languages, except the trend carries through the whole movie. Every demon with a speaking part is either non-white, speaks with an accent, or in the case of Gavin Rossdale, is an English (foreign!) actor faking an American accent. Satan is played by Peter Stormare (Nihilist #1 from The Big Lebowski, wood-chipping kidnapper from Fargo), who can't quite cover his Swedish accent. Even Tilda Swinton as the angel Gabriel feeds into this theme, because she misbehaves and turns into a fallen angel in the end. What can you expect from someone with an accent like hers?

Then there's the hero, trying to work his way towards salvation because he had tried to kill himself as a teenager. Technically he had succeeded in killing himself, and spent a minute or two in Hell, but his body was saved or brought back to life. He's trying to make the transition from sin to grace, but having a hard time throughout the movie. Surely they didn't choose Keanu Reeves to reflect this, but in spite of his average Bill & Ted speech, Reeves was born in Beirut, maintains Canadian citizenship, and has some Hawaiian and Chinese ancestry. Heaven isn't worried about how he behaves. They're just trying to figure out if he's white enough to join the club!