Starring: Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz
Genre: comic book / action
Plot Summary: Based on the DC/Vertigo comic book Hellblazer, Constantine tells the story of irreverent supernatural detective John Constantine, who has literally been to hell and back.
John Constantine (Keanu Reeves) used to "see things" when he was a kid. After a failed attempt at suicide, he is now a chain smoking exorcist. He doesn't need faith - he's seen it for himself. And to top it all off, he's dying of lung cancer and is 20 years late for his appointment with (a very pissed off) Lucifer, not to mention all the other demons and misbehaving half-breeds he's sent back down to the depths just waiting to exact their revenge (as if it gets worse than spending eternity being ripped apart over and over in screaming, brutal agony). After Angela's (Rachel Weisz) twin sister mysteriously commits suicide, she seeks help from Constantine and the two of them try to piece together what the hell (literally) is going on. With help from an alcoholic priest who hears voices (Pruitt Taylor Vince - the guy from "Identity"), Isabel (Angela's dead twin sister) and Constantine's book-smart and eager side kick apprentice (Shia LaBeouf), they must save mankind from a fate worse than death. And, if they succeed, will it all be enough to earn Constantine a get-out-of-hell-free card?
What can I say? I'm a sucker for blasphemy.
Angela: God has a plan for all of us.
John: God's just a kid with an ant farm, lady. He's not planning anything.
There's just something about dark vs. light, God vs. Satan, angels vs. demons that could keep me entertained for a lifetime.
Angela: I don't believe in the devil.
John: You should. He believes in you.
And there are enough contradictions and ambiguities in this movie to make it a heretic's playground. This movie makes you want to have those on God's side committed, while you're boning the demons. The soddingly sexy Gavin Rossdale plays Balthazar, a half-breed who can't quite stick to the rules. And when Constantine shows up to throw him out of the game and actually threatens him with absolution, you're not quite sure whose side you're on anymore. My favourite character, however, is Gabriel (Tilda Swinton). Mmmmm, the androgeny of it all! So delicious in that white, stringy outfit with the hospital bracelets. Yes, I get sidetracked easily :) Satan himself is quite entertaining as well, making a grand entrance, decending from above in a suit of immaculate white, and acting more like a deranged old fart out for a walk, than an evil overlord of the dark.
Reeves and Weisz are now both seasoned actors and there are no surprises there. They are as they have always been, which seems to work out ok for this movie. But the characters surrounding them are magnificent and make the movie for me. The end of the movie, in which the solutions to everyone's problems end up coming from the most unlikely of sources, gives me great glee. Oh, and there's a tag after the credits too, so watch out for that!
For a comic book movie, it's pretty damn good.
My rating = add this one to your collection, or 4.7 out of 7.