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From ever since he can remember, John Constantine has been able to see half-demons and half-angels walking the Earth. Punished for an early suicide attempt due to this 'gift', he is trying to save his soul from eternal damnation by ridding us of these half breeds who walk among us. However, when he comes across Detective Angela Dodson, he realises that there is a bigger threat on its way, and the path he is seeking may not be one he is able to complete.
This is it in a nutshell, to be honest. The film is loosely based on a graphic novel, but the transferrance of characters has met with slight disapproval, and I must admit I found the film's plot rather tricky to follow at the best of times. There's a lot of special effects involved, and the dialogue is often so hushed and sinister (for effect, no doubt), that I really had to focus and concentrate to try and work out what was going on.
Keanu Reeves tops the billing as Constantine, and the scenes where he is battling the half-demons are quite impressive. However, they are intermingled with scenes that take various different characters and try to steer us down the path of explanation at the same time as steering him down a path to his salvation. We get glimpses of heaven and hell, and some of the special effects are actually done very well, but Reeves is very much in Matrix mode with his dialogue but not at all with his action.
Rachel Weisz stars as Dobson, and there is an attempt at an intricate storyline involving her and her twin sister, another apparent suicide, although successful this time. Support comes in various forms, with Shia LaBoeuf, Tilda Swinton and Dkimon Hounsou all tagging along for the ride. The individual performances are quite good, but there just doesn't seem to be enough linking it all together.
As the film paces along, and you start to get a hold of what is going on and what Constantine needs to do, the tension does start to mount, and you do feel as if you're getting into the supernatural thriller that the film promises from the outset. The delivery of comes about halfway through, though, before any kind of understanding is properly established, and by this time, I imagine a lot of viewers may have already switched off.
However, this doesn't mean that it's all bad. By the end of the film, I really had started to enjoy watching it. I felt the second half was a very well put together film that I would probably rate at a high level, while the first half drags this down to something that reeks of disappointment and wasted opportunity. Overall, then, a distinctly average film that really failed to hit the mark and establish some clarity from the beginning, where it really needed to be simple and not launch into the complications. These could quite comfortably come more towards the middle of the film and could still have had the desired outcome.
As it was, I was in mixed minds. Had I turned over halfway through, then it would forever have remained a bad film, but having seen the final 45 minutes or so, I was impressed. If you have the concentration and are willing to trust me and wait for the second half of this, then it's worth it. If you're looking for something to grab you from the word go, then don't bother. Sitting on the fence.
To be completely honest, I was quite scared to see this movie, and rightly so.
I guess I wasn't sure just how intense this movie would get. I mean there's enough to keep you on the edge of your seat, but so much intensity (in sight and sound - it's a very loud movie) and scariness to make you want to turn your TV and DVD player off and simply walk away from the venture of ever finishing watching this movie.
I must warn you that if you are at squeamish at disgusting looking things, loud sounds, or anything to do with evil, you probably shouldn't see this movie. Let's just say that I was very glad I had gone to church earlier that morning on the day that I saw this movie.
Keanu Reeves is just about the only actor who I believe to be perfect for this role. There really isn't another soul on God's Green Earth who could give justice to the role of John Constantine. He brings this kind of quality to any acting job, and this movie needed that for sure.
Overall, I succeeded in being scared by this movie, but failed in being impressed by much about this film. Therefore, I give it an average rating.
It seems that every second film these days is an adaptation of a graphic novel. Everyone is keen to jump on the bandwagon and bring the comic book to the big screen. However, some of these adaptations should never have been let on the bandwagon. In fact some of them should be pushed off and crushed under the wheels. This is one such film.
Constantine is based on the graphic novel series, Hellblazer. The title comes from the main protagonist, John Constantine; a hard drinking kind of sorcerer who battles the nasty side of the occult, but sometimes utilises it too. He's one of the most mulitifaceted characters in the comic book universe, and as well as having his own series, he sometimes turns up in other comics, such as the Sandman series. So, he's well established and well liked in Geek World. Surely a film adaptation is a good thing then?
Alas, no. Here follows a list of why this adaptation is utter bildge, in order of annoying-ness.
1. Keanu Reeves. Now, I am not a complection-ist. I barely raised an eyebrow when Daniel Craig appeared as Blond Bond. I was perfectly willing to accept an actor who was of the brunette strain, (although it goes against the character, who is based heavily on Sting and displays a lot of post punk style). But Keanu is just all wrong for this. He does vapid other-worldly characters well, but John Constantine is a likeable, sociable guy with a good line in sardonic wit and wise-assed comments. Keanu conveys none of these things. He does attempt to capture the turmoil of someone who has managed to bring about the demise of most of their nearest and dearest, but this just looks like he has a slight earache, not that he is wrestling with a great inner torment. Plus he doesn't smoke nearly enough.
2. The costume department. Should be shot for changing his tan mack for a cool black number. The crumpled mack is integral to the character in my humble opinion.
3. Shia LaBeouf. A cool young sidekick? Really?? Did we need him? He takes a lot of the funny-ish lines that should have been Constantines.
4. Rachel Weisz's accent. Why the blinking flip did they employ a british actor to do an american accent and an american lead to play a Liverpudlian?
I could go on, but I'll restrain myself in order to give a brief outline of the plot. Keanu is trying to earn brownie points to get to heaven after a suicide attempt. He's merrily killing loads of demons, but this is getting harder as some are crossing over from hell into our realm. (Now, Hell is depicted here in full CGI glory and yes, it's quite cool, but I would have honestly preferred a smaller budget and an indie production team.) He enlists the help of angel Gabriel, played by Tilda Swinton. Swinton is the sole reason I didn't throw my remote control through the tv screen before getting to the end, as her androgynous portrayal of the angel is an interesting and captivating performance. The side story romance involves cop Angela Dodson (Weisz), and they team up to investigate the cause of the interloping demons and battle to stop them.
Another sterling performance is given by Swede Peter Stormare, who plays the most interesting Lucifer I've seen. He completely stole the show for me. The way the film concludes is utterly schmatlsy hollywood vomit inducing cheese, but it has a couple of interesting twists before we get there.
Overall, one of the worst comic adaptations I've seen. I doubt that the creators of the graphic novel had much to do with the adaptation, and it shows.
Based on the 'Hellblazer' comic books Constantine was directed by Francis Lawrence and released in 2005. I have no previous knowledge of the comic and had no preconceived ideas as to what the film was about. I tend to like most things involving the supernatural and that's why it found its way into my DVD player.
John Constantine (Keanu Reeves) was born with the gift of being able to see sprits roaming the earth. Finding himself stuck somewhere between heaven and hell he seeks redemption by teaming up with sceptical cop Angela Dodson to help solve the death of her twin sister Isabel. They step into the Los Angeles underworld to find not only what they're looking for but a whole host of other things as well.
Constantine makes a great anti hero. He is trying to make the world a better place but only to earn a place in heaven, not because he really cares. It is initially difficult to sympathise with him as he seems selfish and rude but as the films progresses we see that although this guy has a lot of front, somewhere deep beneath the surface is someone who can think of others. Angela Dobson is the perfect woman to confront him, she is strong, independent and takes no crap and won't stop until she finds out the truth behind her sister's death. I thought the films depiction of arch angel Gabriel was a bit confused at times and I just didn't quite understand the character. Papa Midnite is one of my favourites though, as a witch doctor come club owner who isn't on either side.
This film was the directorial debut for Francis Lawrence; I think he brought his knowledge of music videos with him creating stunning visuals and giving the movie a cool sense of style. The cinematography was fantastic and the music is energetic and dark adding to the movie at all the right moments. The set lives up to expectations and the action scenes are superb with CGI only enhancing what is already there.
I think the main downfall of this film is there are too many ideas all thrown together and this makes the story a bit muddled. There are also quite a few parts that are totally unexplained and although this adds to the mystery it also leaves you feeling like you're out of the loop half of the time.
There are a couple of surprises towards the end and although the overall finale could be anticipated the journey there was pretty enjoyable. I do like most films which include the strange or spooky so others who don't like this genre may be totally out of their comfort zone here.
I thought Keanu Reeves was perfect for the role of Constantine a guy who doesn't really say a lot. I'm not sure if perhaps the character should have been a little older for the experience he had with the other side, but other than that I thought Reeves was well cast. The star of the show for me was Rachael Weiss; I had only really seen her in The Mummy films, where her character lacked depth so it was nice to see her overcoming a more challenging role. Tilda Swinton played her usual quirky role as Gabriel and Shia LaBouef plays Constantine's sidekick Chas with enthusiasm and eagerness.
Although the story is flawed and desperately confused at times this is still well worth watching. It's an enjoyable ride from start to finish and the confusion actually adds to the bizarre world portrayed. It is available on Amazon for £2.99 and if you like anything a bit weird or supernatural you'll probably enjoy this.
I was first introduced to this movie by a dear friend .I am as a rule not a Reeves fan , I found the matrix trilogy hard to follow and his acting wooden at best , I spent most of "speed" eyeing the curvacious Miss bullock rather than paying any attention to the plot that had for me a lack of "speed".
Anyhow I get a call one day from a friend who for sometime had been poorly and asks if I fancy watching a dvd on his 42" plasma with some snacks and a glass of wine or two, no worries says i and go . The film was of course constantine , I like the horror/supernatural genre so all is good .The story is about a deep and sardonic figure , a self styled exorcist that is neither the bible thumping evangelist nor the classic black smock clad minister . John constantine is a deeper character altogether . He deals with demons every day (some of his own mainly cigarettes ) and those from another realm . You learn that he has since childhood possesed a gift (if you can all it that ) of being able to see what lies between the realm we occupy and that which is to either side of us mortals either angelic or demonic . We learn that as a young man he could not accept such a gift and was driven by it to suicide only to experience (if only briefly) the torment of hell itself , he escapes this by being brought back from death by paramedics .He is now back among the livng still able to see the things that drove him to despair in the first place and now knowing that when he eventually dies for good that he will be greated by hell again as he says in the story there is only one place a suicide can go !
He is a rebel he argues with an emissary of heaven that he has a curse not a gift and that since his own resurection he has tried to use it for good extracting the unholy from the innocent .He stands accused of doing it to buy his way into gods good graces and a place in heaven . He needs to to act without this in mind , he needs to comit a supreme selfless act using his "gift" to command such a prize .John chain smokes all the way through the film and we are told that he suffers from terminal lung cancer so his desire to buy his place in heaven is made so much more urgent knowing his time is short and where the rules say he must go . He eventually does a selfless act by having the soul of a supected suicide correctly placed in heaven as the suicide act was commited whilst possesed by a demon with an unholy plot to overthrow satan and god to walk on earth and rule all mankind .For this he is at last assured a place in heaven until lucifer outraged that a soul such as his has been taken from him , the soul of a man who has exorcised so many of his loyal demonic servents . Satan is fuming and decides that constantine who is suffeing from advanced lung cancer will have to live even longer on earth and continue to earn his place in heaven Satan reaches into John and removes the black tar covered tumours from his lungs .For Constantine living may be even more of a torture than the themepark of horror that lucifer has planned for all of his eternity .Can Constantine basically stay on the rails long enough to achieve this and cheat the devil of his prize ?
The film is a good one and is well acted even by reeves .I always find it a poinient film to watch as this was the day my dear friend broke the news to me that he too had terminal lung cancer . It had made him think of his own mortality and take stock of what he had done in his life and try to guess which way the scale would tip on the day of his own reckoning .Still to this day I feel that there is such a message in this film that makes me take stock of myself maybe more often than I would like to .It to me shows the power a movie can have if it hits its intended mark.
ohn Constantine has a gift A gift not wanted by anyone. A gift that allows him to see not only angels but demons. This movie follows him to the depths of hell and back (literally).
'John Constantine, the only sole the devil would come up to our plain to receive.' John is very aware of this rumour. Having died already he knows what hell is like, he has felt its fiery embrace. To try and stop this happening again John uses his gift to become an exorcist. Sending demons back to hell, trying anything to secure his place in heaven. He meets with Gabriel (an angel) trying to convince her to help him. John is running out of time to live, running out of chances to do something that will get him into heaven, long years of smoking has finally caught up with him.
John is aware of the balance between worlds, angels and demons can infect a person but cannot cross over onto this world. When demons start to try and cross over onto human plain Constantine has to do something about it.
The movie is based on the son of the Devil, Mammon, trying to cross over and create hell on Earth but this is only possible with the help of God (God's blood to be exact) and the divine assistance of a powerful psychic, Angela Dodson. When the 'Spear of Destiny' (the spear believed by some to kill Jesus on the cross) Mammon sees his chance. With the belief that the human's ability to repent to find their way into God's forgiveness Gabriel helps Mammon thinking that the humans that survive hell on Earth are the one ones that deserve God's love. Constantine is out to stop her........
With a pretty deep plot this movie isn't one for the light-hearted. I've got to say though this movie really is beautifully made, from special affects to acting. The cast of this movie is
-Keanu Reeves as John Constantine
-Rachel Weisz as Detective Angela Dodson & Isabel Dodson
-Shia LaBeouf as Chas Kramer
-Djimon Hounsou as Papa Midnite
-Pruitt Taylor Vince as Father Hennessy
-Gavin Rossdale as Balthazar
-Tilda Swinton as Gabriel
-Peter Stormare as Lucifer (the Devil)
This cast is extremely talented from the superstars like Keanu Reeves (The Matrix), Rachel Weisz (The Mummy) and Peter Stormare (Minority Report) to upcoming stars like Shia LaBeouf (Transformers) this movie is very well cast.
Overall I would like to recommend this movie for you to buy but it is pretty unlikely you would like it. Saying that though if the option is available for you to watch it I think it would be a worthwhile experience.
After "From Hell" and "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" completely missed the point of original graphic novels, author Alan Moore told his agent that from now on he wanted his name removed from the credit list of all future movie adaptations and his fee divided up amongst the artists, Rick Veitch and Stephen Bissette. No sooner had he made this principled statement than calls came for big budget motion picture adaptations of "Constantine" and "V for Vendetta." As much as Moore might have been kicking himself from a financial point of view, you can see with this latest offering that US film-makers have yet to be remain faithful to Moore's creations.
"From Hell" was a massive insult to the nature of Moore's fantastic piece of literature, which is perhaps the greatest graphic novel ever created. "The League of Extraordinary Gentleman" turned Moore's wry satirical piece of black humour into a family friendly X-Men for the Victorian age. You can see why Moore was miffed. The makers of the films not only missed the point they went in stark opposition to the message the author was trying to make. It was like turning "1984" into a piece of pro-communist propaganda.
"Constantine" is based on Moore's Hellblazer comic, supposedly taken its influence mainly from the story "Dangerous Habits". It tells the story of supernatural investigator, John Constantine, possessing the gift of talking with the dead and dying from lung cancer due to his chain-smoking habits. Having committed suicide when he was a teenager, John Constantine has visited hell and knows that is way he is now headed after being brought back to life by doctors. He remains a cynic desperately trying to win favour with God - himself locked in a struggle with Satan over winning souls for the afterlife - by battling the forces of evil.
The main action takes place in "The City of Angels" Los Angeles, where the recently diagnosed Constantine meets an LAPD cop investigating the mysterious suicide of her psychic sister.
As I said earlier, "Constantine" is no different in its lack of irony and goes completely against its source material. Keanu Reeves is not the most sympathetic of actors, so it was difficult to feel anything for the complex and tragic figure that makes up John Constantine. With so many comic-book heroes making Faustian packs or somehow being associated with the devil, Constantine needed to be very different from the usual fair. Moore's creation was an intelligent and profound character who didn't draw immediate comparisons with Hellboy, Spawn, Ghostrider, Blue Devil and the like. However, with the cartoonish and literal biblical translations glaring at us in this picture, it is difficult not to make the comparisons on the big screen and Constantine falls between "Hellboy" (a more than reasonable big screen adaption) and "Spawn" (which was dreadful).
The film goes about using every action or horror cliché in the book and awkwardly marries them with cartoon elements that aren't really very funny. We begin with a scene lifted straight from The Exorcist and then progress through so much other Catholic propaganda without the slightest wink at the camera. The action sequences appear to be pretty much The Matrix goes supernatural and the characters resemble those we've seen in such comedies as Dogma, Little Nicky and the like. The angels have wings and hell is all literal fire and brimstone. The devil is a wise-cracking middle-aged bloke. You get the picture.
Poor old Alan Moore seems to have resigned himself to the idea that all USA production companies think irony is a type of metal.
*First published 18 April 2005 on my "Cinema Round-up" thread on Cyberkwoon.com*
Ok I have never read the comics, so cannot tell you how true to the comic the movie is (according the other reviews though - not true at all lol).
In a world where Demons and Angels exist, there is John Constantine, a guy who once committed suicide, yep the mortal sin, as he could see these demons and wanted a way out. He died and went to Hell but was revived.
Knowing exactly where he is going for his sin, John tries to 'buy' his way into Heaven and back into God's good books by sending demons back down to Hell.
He is running out of time though as he actually is dying of lung cancer.
Enter Angela, who's identical twin has just committed suicide. She seeks out John to help her as she feels there is something more to her Sister's death.
As in all my film reviews... I am not one to spoil a plot so will leave it there.
I am not particularly a fan of Keanu Reeves, who plays John Constantine. I find him passionless and he just doesn't seem to have more than 3 facial expressions. I think that is quite good for this role though as John comes across as a man who is without passion and who has lost his enjoyment for life as he knows he is off to Hell.
Rachel Weisz, who plays Angela Dodson/Isabel Dodson, in my opinion is a fantastic actress but did not really come across well this in film. She is great at delivering humour (The Mummy for example.....I, am a Librarian!) but there is no real humour in this movie and she seems quite wooden.
But that being said I don't think the script was particularly powerful.
I did enjoy the film because I am quite into the whole heaven/hell/supernatural type films but when I think of it, it doesn't make me instantly think "wow what great acting". The acting is average.
The plot seems a little far fetched, but when is chatting to the Angel Gabriel ever going to come across as realistic? It has a rushed feel to it, like they tried to cram too much in and too quickly.
I love the fact that Gabriel, who we are all taught to believe is naturally an angel and therefore good, is quite resentful and twisted.
I think my favourite part is when you see Lucifer (yes, thats right, they have the Devil in this movie!). Most associate him with a pitchfork and lots of red and fire.
In the film you do not see him rise from the ground as you would expect but to slowly descend from above donning a white suit. I do like this as it is slightly more true. I mean, in the bible Lucifer was a fallen angel, so why shouldn't he be in white and coming from the sky? Kind of like he is replaying his 'fall'. I couldn't quite understand why he feet were covered in black goo but I found his appearance quite effective.
The graphics are okay but nothing spectacular. I watch the film often as I quite like the plot but would never say it's an "outstanding" piece of cinema.
Forget the fan boy fury. The decision to cast Keanu Reeves as the blond, British chain-smoking John Constantine is not what sinks this film. It's the fact it's a big steaming pile of cow dung that does that. You could have cast the blondest, most British actor you could think of and it wouldn't have changed a thing.
True Reeves doesn't help, with a staggeringly wooden performance, even by his standards. In the comics, John Constantine is bitter, cynical and sarcastic; in Reeves World, he has no personality. In the comics, he is a somewhat tragic, sympathetic character; in Keanu Land, emotion is something to do with a bowel movement caused by illegal substances. Mind you, it's possible that the only way you could enjoy this film would be by taking something naughty a couple of hours before watching it.*
Taking their lead from the main character, the support cast is not much better. Rachel Weisz turns in one of her worst performances ever as Detective Angela Dodson. She's supposedly a hard-bitten tough-as-nails cop, yet looks as though she would have a tough time fighting her way out of a wet paper back. There's also a complete lack of chemistry between Reeves and Weisz which leaves an emotional black hole the film never succeeds in filling. In a previous review, I referred to Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly as "The Wooden Twins". I never thought their title would come under threat, but the performances of Weisz and Reeves give them a run for their money.
Shia LaBoeuf puts in an early appearance as Chas Kramer and threatens to produce something interesting. Sadly, whilst he brings some much-needed humour to the film, he's only a peripheral side-kick character and doesn't get much screentime. Tilda Swinton also pops up as Gabriel in a frankly baffling role which makes very little sense in relation to... well, pretty much anything, really. In a film packed with baffling roles, she manages to come out on top, which I guess is an achievement of sorts, but probably not one you'd want to draw attention to. How a film so dire managed to attract so many top name actors is the biggest mystery of all, and one you'll find yourself pondering during the film's many dull moments. I can only assume that the vision that was sold to them was very different from the mess that was finally presented to audiences.
And I've yet to mention the worst performance of all. Just when you think the film can't sink any lower, up pops Peter Stormare as the world's campest Satan. I presume his interpretation of the Big Bad One is meant to show him as mischievous, devious and manipulative. In fact, his constant wriggling makes it look like he's desperate for the toilet. Either that or he's taken some of those afore-mentioned illegal substances and can't sit still**. The only scary thing about the performance is that the director allowed him to get away with it.
The script doesn't fare much better either. Fans of the Hellblazer comics (on which this is supposedly based) will recognise a few elements. In true Hollywood style, though, the writers have simply taken the bits that appealed to them and ignored the rest. Certain elements have been retained (Constantine is still dying of lung cancer), and that's good. Yet it's clear that what the writers REALLY saw was a storyline featuring demons from Hell on which they could waste their special effects budget. There's no fleshing out of Constantine if you've never heard of him before, you'll spend half the film wondering what on earth is going on.
Constantine makes very little sense. Its a mish-mash of all sorts of elements which never form a coherent plot. There's some guff about a Spear of Destiny, a woman's suicide and Constantine's continuing battle against the denizens of Hell. And plenty of clumsy religious analogies. Quite how (or indeed if) these all fit together is never adequately explained and, to be honest, you won't really care. You'll be just as unenlightened when the end credits roll as you were at the start. The only difference is you will just have lost 2 hours of your life.
The script also suffers from being far too serious. One of the strong points of Hellblazer is that John Constantine possesses a very black streak of humour. This is hardly explored by the film. There are a couple of attempts, but they fall flat on their face when confronted with Reeve's total inability to deliver what should be easy laughs. It's not as if Reeves can't do comedy - he showed with Bill and Ted that he can play things for laughs. He clearly doesn't get sarcasm and black humour, though, and his attempts to translate Constantine's bitter, cynical outlook onto the big screen are disastrous.
Where Constantine does have some limited success is its atmosphere. The world Constantine inhabits is suitably dark and grimy. There is a very oppressive feel to the Los Angeles he lives in, and you genuinely get the sense that he inhabits a world in between the one we know and the one we suspect. The director makes effective use of darkness and shadows to portray a gloomy city, giving the film a strong visual element. Whilst it doesn't do anything we've not seen before, it does at least provide something positive to say about the film.
The special effects are OK too - particularly in the sequences which take place in Hell (although more could have been made of these). Again, there's nothing particularly new and they are not groundbreaking, but the demons Constantine encounters are at least reasonably convincing and interesting to look at. The creature made up of lots of individual insects is particularly imaginative and will send a shiver down the spine of anyone who doesn't like bugs! The appearance of these demons appears to be entirely random and have no discernible connection to the main plot, but this is a minor issue because everything in Constantine appears to be entirely unrelated to anything else. At least the effects add a modicum of excitement to an otherwise anodyne film.
Constantine could have been good. All the elements are there for a bleak, dark (anti)hero tale. Faced with a muddled, incomprehensible script, disinterested lead actors and a story which pays only lip service to its source material, though, Constantine is a waste of time. Stick to the comics. They're far entertaining.
Director: Francis Lawrence
Running time: approx. 121 minutes
*Disclaimer 1: the author does not condone the use of illegal substances for the purposes of enhancing celluloid-based entertainment. It's not big, it's not clever and it's against the law. So don't do it. Disclaimer 1 ends.
** Disclaimer 2: I'm sure Peter Stormare is a lovely bloke who's only vice is a small sherry at Christmas. It is, of course, a ridiculous notion to suggest that anyone connected with the Hollywood industry would be remotely interested in drugs. Disclaimer 2 ends.
© Copyright SWSt 2009
This movie is a Demon Infested nightmare and it's brilliant.
God and the Devil have made a standing wager for the souls of all mankind. But the devils son is changing the rules in order for hell to win and also to depose his father. In order to do this he needs an angels help and a very powerful physic.
Starring Keanu Reeves as John Constantine and Rachel Weisz as the physic the film is a rollercoaster of a ride from start to finish.
Constantines job and passion is to hunt down and deport demons back to hell but now there is something strange occurring and into the mix comes a very powerful physic. Soon Constantine will be up to his neck in demons and half breeds as he fights to save Rachel from being taken by the devils son.
Also star Peter Stormare as the devil.
This is a must see film. You will watch this one again and again.
John Constantine (Keanu Reeves) was born with the ability to see demons and angels walking this earth. John does not see this as a gift, and when he was younger he couldn't take the burden any longer and so tried to commit suicide. Unfortunately for John, he was saved from death, and must atone for his mistake.
John is given powers which make him able to take on most demons. Whenever a demon breaks the rules he exorcises them and sends them back to hell. John is well known to the police for being involved with the occult, and when Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) asks him for help, he knows its not for anything else but that. Angela had a twin sister called Isobel who apparently committed suicide, but she believes that it is connected somehow to something demonic.
John and Angela set about trying to establish what is going on, and they uncover something far greater than they could ever have imagined.
I watched this film with a slight touch of apprehension as I hadn't really heard great things, but I absolutely loved it.
Keanu Reeves is fantastic as John Constantine, he is dry and enigmatic, but sometimes you don't even like him, which is who Constantine is.
The ending of this film did confuse me a tad (an easy thing to do!) and so I did watch it again a couple of days later and I managed to understand it all, and I must say it was brilliant! I don't want to give too much away but the casting of Satan, Gabriel and Balthazar was fantastic!
This film is straight out of the comic books and some of the most disturbing scenes were when Constantine travelled to Hell. However it didn't rely too heavily on special effects and action sequences to make it a good film.
Based on the original 'Hellblazer' books and comics (DC Comics/Vertigo), 'Constantine' depicts the eternal war between good and evil over the souls of man.
When he is diagnosed with an aggressive and terminal form of cancer, John Constantine (Keanu Reees), a man cursed with the ability to see the demons that walk among us, is a marked man. Having committed a mortal sin, Constantine knows that, according to catholic dogma, there is only one place that he is going to go when he dies; having spent most of his adult life sending escaped demons back to hell, he is somewhat less than popular with most of the residents already there.
However, his personal worries have to be laid to one side when Isabelle, the sister of Angela, a police officer (Weisz) commits a strange and desperate suicide. Angela knows that her sister, a devout catholic, would never have taken her own life, but the security cameras show no-one else with her when she died - could there be more sinister forces at work? Constantine must use all his knowledge and the last of his strength to discover what happened, or more than the soul of one woman could be at risk.
Reeves' minimally-emotive acting style works brilliantly here, creating a 'devil-may-care' protagonist who is both damaged and dangerous, while Weisz' grieving Angela is an excellent contrast. Although the fight scenes and special effects dictate that this should be a fast-paced thriller, unlike other theological thrillers such as Van Helsing, the film also manages to be surprisingly cerebral, weaving a compelling and intelligent plot that will keep the audience guessing through stunning graphics and exciting action scenes.
The film justifies its 15 age-rating, with considerable use of adult language and potentially disturbing images.
John Constantine lives in a demon haunted world. Due to a close encounter with death at a young age (by virtue of a suicide attempt), he has been blessed (or, as he sees it, cursed) with an ability to see ghosts, angels and devils. The latter are his primary concern in his day job as an exorcist and demon hunter. Suicide being a mortal sin, Constantine knows he is condemned to Hell when he finally dies. He spends his days trying to buy an opportunity for salvation by sending demons back to hell. As he pursues his goal, he realises that the underworld creatures he hunts are rapidly growing in strength and number, and that for the first time he is being personally targeted. Someone is bringing the demons together, someone who wants to turn planet earth into an outpost of Hell. Together with his trusty sidekick (Shia LeBoeuf) and homicide detective Angela (Rachel Weisz), Constantine embarks upon on a mission to save the human race from eternal damnation.
Constantine is a tricky film to categorise. Superficially it is a supernatural horror, however it also contains a strong noir element and lashings of eyecatching gothic imagery. The result is a feast for the eyes and imagination. No expense is spared in the special effects, which are breathtaking. The performances are also uniformly excellent (especially Peter Stormare as a delightfully slimy Satan). The character of Constantine is tailor made for Keanu Reeves and he plays the role to perfection. Reeves is often mocked for his laconic acting style but when it works, it works very well.
On the downside the plot somehow manages to be both ludicrous and predictable. This is a small point, however, because Constantine never pretends to be anything other than atmospheric, escapist fun. I think it's a very enjoyable film, so long as you remember to put your brain on hold throughout.
Constantine was an interesting film that started off well but tailed off towards the end and ultimately left me feeling a little disappointed with the verall quality of the film.Accepting that he is a good looking actor other than that quality I have never been a big fan of Keanu Reeves acting ability but he did a pretty good job in the lead role of this film.
In the film he plays a supernatural police man whose job it is to dispatch demons to hell, he joins up with a fellow officer to investigate the suicide of her twin sister. The plot is rather stretched in this film as Reeves character own soul is damned to go to hell and he is attempting to seek redemption through his work and avoid ending up where those he has put away end up.
Keanu Reeves ... John Constantine
Rachel Weisz ... Angela Dodson / Isabel Dodson
Shia LaBeouf ... Chas Kramer
Djimon Hounsou ... Midnite
Max Baker ... Beeman
Pruitt Taylor Vince ... Father Hennessy
Gavin Rossdale ... Balthazar
Tilda Swinton ... Gabriel
Peter Stormare ... Satan
As far as action films go this one is not bad, visually the special effects are excellent and there is a good pace to the first three quarters of the film it is in the last quarter that it really fails to maintain the momentum and it started to go downhill a bit.
Having aid that it is still reasonably entertaining overall and one that is worth watching on TV but I would not part with money to watch it as we did on rental.
This is John Constantine - a dying guy in the middle thirties. His job is well sending demons who broke the rules (contacting or making and influence on human lives) to hell. Some kind of exorcist. Good one. Meet Rachel Weisz - a policewoman who can see ghosts and has her twin sister killed herself whispering Constantine's name we have them together.
The plot is silly. Satan's son wants to come to earth so he needs: Rachel and God's blood (which has been found by his minion on the Spear of Destiny). Rachel and Keanu are bound together to stop him (small appearance of Shia LeBouef doesnt help much)
Actors - Rachel Weisz hmm no - she will always stay Miss Librarian from Mummy, Keanu - tried but he is not made to play that kind of heroes - yes Matrix, yes Johny Mnemonic but here he is too young, trying very hard to play like one of those old cynic actors. No! He was not a good choice to play JC. Shia - as a young sidekick of Constantine - not bad. Gabriel - played by Tilda Swindon - great as usual. But the true pearl is Lucypher - played by Peter Stormare. Although he appears only for couple of minutes to collect Constantine's soul he is brilliant. Cynic cold hearted freak :] Just as he should be.
Audio and video is on a very high level. CGI of hell is astonishing, and music is excellent too. The fights are good as well.
I am a little bit dissapointed as it is good at most. Its too predictable. However its a good fantasy action movie and in that niche its just doing well.
In the grand scheme of theological thrillers, Constantine aspires for the greatness of The Exorcist but ranks more closely with The Order. Based on the popular Hellblazer comic book series, and directed with nary a shred of intelligence by music video veteran Francis Lawrence, it's basically The Matrix with swarming demons instead of swarming machines. Keanu Reeves slightly modifies his Matrix persona as John Constantine, who roams the dark-spots of Los Angeles looking for good-evil, angel-devil half-breeds to ensure that "the balance" between God and Satan is properly maintained. An ancient artifact and the detective twin of a woman who committed evil-induced suicide (Rachel Weisz) factor into the plot, which is taken so seriously that you'll want to stand up and cheer when Tilda Swinton swoops down as the cross-dressing angel Gabriel and turns this silliness into the camp-fest it really is. The digital effects are way cool (dig those hellspawn with the tops of their heads lopped off!), so if you don't mind a juvenile lesson in pseudo-Catholic salvation, Constantine is just the movie for you! --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com