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Constantine

Reviewed by Ogre3000

Hell wants him.
Heaven won't take him.
Earth needs him.

John Constantine: Hellblazer is one of my favorite comics in the DC/Vertigo line. Vertigo is a mature line that has odd, sometimes disturbing comics that don't necessarily fit into the regular DC Comics universe. The character first showed up in "Swamp Thing" in 1985 and later got his own book in 1988. He's a burnt-out, British sorcerer who's a cynical anti-hero that has run a conman's game against Heaven and Hell, always in trouble, and is to this day.

The movie however is different, "Americanized," and takes elements from the stories here and there. Constantine (Keanu Reeves) is an exorcist as well as a sorcerer, trying to buy his way into Heaven by banishing demons back to Hell. We learn during the course of the movie that Heaven and Hell can't interfere directly in the battle for souls; only half-breed angels and demons (other than direct possession) can operate on this plane. You see, Constantine was born with a gift/curse that he could see the half-breeds as a boy. And later tried to commit suicide. So he is damned and when he dies will go to Hell. Unless he can change his fate.

And his fate is changed by twinning his with police detective Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) who is seeking answers to her twin sister's death. Authorities maintain that Angela's sister committed suicide, which Angela cannot believe since she was a devoted Catholic. The two join forces and Hellish attacks begin and they start to uncover plots leading to Hell on Earth and "The End of Days."

Welp, I was first horrified to learn Reeves was picked for Constantine. But, he did a decent job. He's not THE Constantine of the comics, but he is a good American version; grim, damaged and bleak with doom. The action is pretty good and special effects are top notch (Stan Winston I believe). So, I bought it and enjoyed.

Oh yes, the best scene-stealer is near the end, with the Devil himself making a personal appearance. And wait after the credits, there's a bit at the end, nothing stunning but a definite Hellblazer moment. I would give this a 3, maybe 4 out of 5 and will buy the dvd.

Till next time,
OGRE3000

 

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Director
Francis Lawrence

Screenplay
Kevin Brodbin
Frank A. Cappello

Released
February 18, 2005

Cast
Keanu Reeves
Rachel Weisz
Shia LaBeouf
Djimon Hounsou
Pruitt Taylor Vince
Tilda Swinton

Full Credits at IMDb

Available on DVD and Blu-Ray