Constantine

photo imdb.com

Written by Jamie Delano & Garth Ennis. Directed by Francis Lawrence. This film follows demon slayer Constantine as he battles demons and helps a police woman solve her twin sister’s death.

Constantine (Keanu Reeves) is a demon slayer who sends them back to Hell as a deal with the after life to try to get into Heaven. Meanwhile, Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) a policewoman, is devastated and determined to prove her twin sister, Isabel, did not kill herself but was murdered by a demon. When she watches footage of her sister “falling” off the top of the hospital building, her sister whispers Constantine’s name. Angela reaches out to Constantine but he could care less about her sister as he has demons attacking him for reasons he doesn’t understand. Yet. While it isn’t made quite clear, Constantine has his own cab driver Chas Kramer (Shia LaBeouf) who wants to do more than drive and seems to be a wealth of demon battling knowledge. Constantine also has a demon battle assistant, Beeman (Max Baker) who lives in a bowling alley and provides him everything he needs like holy water, special bullets, a box of bugs, crosses, and biblical references. As if this story wasn’t enough, a subplot and over-reaching story line further complicates Constantine’s mission as an unnamed Mexican steps into a hole and finds an ancient spear head (the spear of destiny) which he has to deliver to a mystic (Angela–she can see demons but denies it) so Satan’s son can come to Earth and have fun or wreak havoc–same thing. The angel Gabriel (Tilda Swinton) has a dark side which seems to revel in Constantine’s unending dream of killing enough demons to be accepted into Heaven as well as ulterior motive. Balthazar (Gavin Rossdale) is a certified demon bad guy who takes pleasure in bringing good people down and ultimately tries to pull a fast one over Constantine. Midnite (Djimon Hounsou) is a supernatural guy who’s job is to “keep the balance” between good and evil. Constantine and Angela “visit” Hell for information and a HUGE battle between good and evil ensue. Deals are made and answers obtained.

This film was cinematically exciting to watch as it portrayed Hell as a windy wasteland of a fiery dust storm as well as demons made of bugs. The battle scenes were well done and Keanu Reeves’ “I don’t give a crap” attitude is priceless. Using the unknown biblical references (apparently there are verses of the Bible which were edited out about Satan’s son coming to visit- minor detail) and the significance and power of the spear supported the story line; however, the spear was found wrapped in a Nazi flag in the middle of nowhere without explanation of how it got to Mexico. Also, it wasn’t “buried” or protected in any way. The guy was walking along and his foot stepped through some old wood. He reached inside the hole and pulled out the Nazi flag (which wasn’t dusting, dirty, or old looking) and unwrapped the spear. He left the flag on the ground and took off with new found powers of the spear. (A car hits him but he walks away, he can jump high, and travel fast.) This film has a lot of layers and I almost feel like the Angela story line is unnecessary. I mean, I guess Constantine needs something to do while the over-reaching plot develops; however, I wonder if it could’ve been executed in another way. Also, Angela keeps waiting for Constantine to kiss her and even reaches her face up to him at one point which doesn’t move the story.

Overall, Constantine was a good battle between good and evil. There are angels and demons among us night and day but are there any Constantine’s willing to trade their lives for ours? Available on Amazon for rental. Watch the trailer below:

Not so fun fact: Keanu Reeves’ character Constantine smokes throughout this film. He didn’t smoke prior to this but picked up the bad habit while filming.

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