Thursday Night Movie Club
Constantine
star rating graphicstar rating graphic½
Release Date: February 18, 2005

Director: Francis Lawrence
ACTORS:
Keanu Reeves
Rachel Weisz
Shia LaBeouf
Djimon Hounsou
Max Baker
Pruitt Taylor Vince
Gavin Rossdale
Tilda Swinton
Peter Stormare
Jesse Ramirez
JosÚ Z˙˝iga
Francis Guinan
Larry Cedar
April Grace
Suzanne Whang
CHARACTERS:
John Constantine
Angela Dodson/Isabel Dodson
Chas Chandler
Midnite
Beeman
Father Hennessy
Balthazar
Gabriel
Satan
Scavenger
Detective Weiss
Father Garret
Vermin Man
Dr. Leslie Archer
Mother
Click on the Constantine poster to link to the official movie website.
Click on the photo of Keanu Reeves to link to the official movie website.

Constantine has some great visual effects, especially those depicting hell. Other than that, its a rather slow movie and a very complicated story.

John Constantine is a man living on borrowed time. He is dying of lung cancer from too many cigarettes. He is also a demon slayer. I guess he is employed by the Catholic Church as he has no visible means of support. There is a an agreement between Heaven and Hell. Neither side can directly interfere with the goings on among humans. When demons attempt to directly influence events, Constantine is there to send them back to hell.

Click on the photo of Keanu Reeves to link to the officail movie website.Constantine saves a young Hispanic woman from a demon. This demon was different. The demon was trying to escape into our world. This troubles Constantine because everyone he tells this to says that this is impossible. It cannot happen. But Constantine knows what he saw was real. There is some evil plot taking shape in the background.

As part of this plot, a young woman committed to a psychiatric hospital kills herself. She turns out to be the twin sister of Angela Dodson. The sisters were born with a unique gift of seeing things others cannot. When Isabel tells people about her visions, everyone thinks she is crazy. Angela doesn't help her, fearing she will also be chastised. After Angela unsuccessfully tries to get the Church to give Isabel a Catholic funeral so her soul can go to heaven, she meets with Constantine for help.

Click on the photo of Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz to link to the official movie website.There is a new battle going on for the human's souls. New alliances have been formed. Archangel Gabriel is hatching a plot to release the son of Satan loose on Earth. This will lead to mass chaos. But the survivors will only be those worth of acceptance into heaven. Gabriel's plan is to weed out the weakly motivated. To accomplish this, Gabriel needs the help of a powerful psychic, Isabel or Angela, and the Spear of Destiny, the spear used by the Romans at the crucifixion of Jesus. This will allow Satan's Son to be born into our plane of existence and do his thing.

Of course, since what I've just described is impossible, Constantine is forced to go it alone. His only helpers are a young cab driver/apprentice and his weapons master/researcher. This sounds similar to the Blade series, but I think I caught DC comics somewhere in the credits so this is probably a copy-cat series.

From the beginning, we learn that the Spear of Destiny has gone missing after World War II. It is found in the middle of God-forsaken nowhere in Mexico. I guess the idea hear is to hide the spear in a place where it will never be found. It must be better this way rather than keeping it hidden, keeping it safe. Constantine tells Angela to hide the spear somewhere where no one will find it, not even him. The problem is, Angela will know where it is so she becomes the prime target for future assaults on humans. I guess that means sequel if the movie rakes in enough money.

There are several things wrong with this movie. The story is complicated. The acting is not particularly good. The direction is straight forward. There is no suspense whatsoever. Constantine just rolls along. When Satan makes his appearance at the end to squash Gabriel's plans, he is not very malicious. He doesn't make your skin crawl.Once again, this is just another standard action/suspense film. Some of the effects shots look good but the film doesn't offer anything fresh.