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Plot: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.
Pruitt Taylor Vince,
Gavin McGregor Rossdale,
My thoughts:"Constantine" halfly fails to deliver in the action and overall entertainment department.But gives us something nice in it's grand finale.
Review:"Constantine" revolves around a man named John Constantine (Keanu Reeves), who has special abilities, the ability to sense demons, and other hell minions, as well as destroy them.Our story starts off with an ancient artifact called the 'spear of destiny' being found by a nameless man. Hes soon posessed by one of these minions which we learn later are called soldier demons, and thus, the man heads off towards the city.Constantine first makes his intro as he heads into an apartment to perform an exorcism. Hes aided by a cab driver/his sidekick Chaz. The film which is advertised as pretty much non-stop horror/action doesn't even come close to delivering. Once our title character successfully performs his exorcism on a young girl, the film kicks into lay out mode. Meaning that it spends an awful lot of time laying out the story, introducing the characters, and basically throwing out endless dialogue.
We are introduced to Rachel Weiszes character, a police officer named Angela Dodson. Soon after her twin sister Isabel commits suicide,she decides to get to the bottom of it so that her sister can have a catholic funeral. Which is impossible according to catholisism if the person took their own life. The jist of whats happening in the film mainly revolves around heaven and hell, and good and evil. The age old story. It seems that god and the devil made some kind of wager for all the souls of mankind. While neither can directly interfere in the lives of humans, they are allowed to *get in their heads* so to speak, and steer them to one particular side. The problem facing Constantine is now some of these demons, are breaking the pact, and entering the human reality, and killing people. Rather than just posessing humans, they are posessing them, only to try and use the posessed as a vessel to enter reality itself. After all, what would the side of bad be without bending the rules a bit?While there are demons who live amongst society posing as humans, there are also angels who do the same.It's up to him to find out how the demons are using humans as their vessels,and why. See Constantine nearly died once, and in order to ensure entry into heaven upon his death, he has to track down wayward demons, and send them back to hell. The problem is, his motives are more in his own best interest (basically not wanting to spend the afterlife in a place full of demons that hes responsible for banishing) rather than doing it in the name of good. Thus he is paying for it in many ways throughout his life, including early in the film when thanks to his extremely bad smoking habit, hes diagnosed with lung cancer.The demons in the film are of course CGI creations, which is pretty easy to tell in the scenes they're featured in.Still they look nasty and evil enough not to be laughable from the viewers perspective.Hell itself is featured in the movie as CGI also.Constantine visits an angel named Gabriel, and a man named Midnite to get some answers on how the demons are breaking through to our reality, but gets nothing from either to go on. Constantines antagonist in the film is a demon named Balthazar (cliche name for a hell villain to say the least). Angela comes to constantine for help finding out the truth about what happened to her sister. She eventually reveals to him that she has powers similar to his.The problem with constantine is it gives the audience almost 2 hours of religious psychobabble with hardly any pay offs, except a few mildly intense scenes here and there. Keanu Reeves also seems to always have a depressed and broken look on his face as he delivers his lines and plays this character of Constantine. Granted with the current situation at hand, and the situation he himself is in, he shouldn't be totally upbeat, but the character is extremely depressing to the point of nearly putting the viewer to sleep. The fact that the films first half lacks action or any kind of steady flow of action scenes doesn't help. Basically between one scene where Constantine visits hell for about 2 mminutes, and when he and Angela are attacked at night on a deserted street by demons, the films first half is just Keanu lighting up a ciggy whenever he can find the time. When the film does give a promise of some much needed and longed for action, it only lasts for a few brief moments before it's back to Keanus hard, depressing stares, and Rachel Weisz looking scared out of her mind. The sexual tension between both characters is totally ignored and never really played upon. Which seems odd considering both characters spend most of the film staring at each other once they join forces to get to the bottom of whats going on. The film picks up nicely though once Weiszes character is ripped through the wall of a skyscraper and taken away, a scene which is reminiscent of Julianne Moores "The Forgotten". This is where Constantine and Chaz have to go rescue her. and Also where the film finally puts the emphasis on the action scenes. The films climax lasts about 30 minutes, and basically all 97% of the films entertaining scenes are all crammed into this half hour. Satan (looking like a retiree you'd find in a florida condo), and Constantines angel friend Gabriel make an appearance during the climax, which pretty much follows the book,with unexpected betrayals, and some witty banter between Constantine and lucifer. One stand out scene within the climax takes place when a character dies. Constantines parting words to them really don't fit the moment, and make him come off as less of a good guy in whats supposed to be part of his big *good guy* moment. To top it all off, the film ends by throwing us another curveball/romantic moment between Angela and Constantine. I really wanted to like "Constantine", but Reeves plays this character with no emotion at all, and murmurs most of his lines.Not a good thing considering the film lacks action, and relies heavily on Reeves to keep the audience interested for most of the movie. Maybe it would've been better had they chosen someone else to play John Constantine, but that still couldn't have made up for the films overused dialogue and lack of interesting characters and action. Gabriel,the 1 intriguing character who plays a big hand in how things shape out at the end, gets very little screen time and is underused,which is a shame, since she was the only character that I wanted to know more about backstory wise.
Pros:"Constantine" had a great story idea, and some pretty good visuals. The Gabriel character was interesting as I stated above. The original score was pretty good. Shia Labeouf as Chaz added some much needed comedy in those rare scenes where you actually saw him.
Cons:Lack of action, over usage of dialogue,lack of interesting characters with 1 exception, a pathetic looking satan, and too much screen time for Reeves and Weisz pretty much kill this movie.
Overall:"Constantine" fails to deliver for the most part except in it's climax. It did have some redeeming qualities here and there which I found in it's supporting cast.It's worth a watch...barely.
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