Constantine, 2005 supernatural religious thriller

Director: Francis Lawrence
Verdict: 6.5/10… Good supernatural thriller with religious themes, but I don’t consider this film to be horror.

I suppose my recent engrossment with the Matrix universe was a factor in my choice to watch Constantine, a 2005 movie starring Keanu Reeves.

Brief plot summary of Constantine

Based on the DC/Vertigo comic book Hellblazer and written by Kevin Brodbin, Mark Bomback and Frank Capello, Constantine tells the story of irreverent supernatural detective John Constantine, who has literally been to hell and back.

Official movie trailer: Constantine (2005)

Keanu Reeves Says No to Constantine 2, All Other SequelsSlashFilm

Detailed plot summary of Constantine

An ordinary man with an extraordinary gift must save the planet from evil in this action-packed fantasy. Unknown to most people, the world is crowded with spirits both good and evil who walk among us in human guise. One of the few who can see these spirits is John Constantine (Keanu Reeves), but the responsibility of his vision is more than he can stand, and he tries to kill himself. Saved from death, Constantine must now atone for his actions by acting as a guardian in the middle ground between Paradise and Hell. Constantine also makes the acquaintance of Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz), a police detective who becomes aware of his unusual gift while looking into the death of her sister; he leads her into the unknown world of the spirits and soon circumstances demand that they join forces in a desperate bid to save humanity from evil. Constantine also features Tilda Swinton (favorite film: Burn After Reading), Peter Stormare, and Gavin Rossdale, the latter best known as the lead singer of the rock group Bush. Michelle Monaghan (Made of Honor) was originally in the film (cast as a half-breed demon) but director Francis Lawrence cut her scenes.

Constantine: Character background

Hellblazer, also known as John Constantine: Hellblazer, is a contemporary horror comic book series published by DC Comics. It has been under the Vertigo Comics label since issue #63, the month the imprint was introduced. Its central character is the streetwise magician John Constantine. It has been published continuously since January 1988, and is Vertigo’s longest running title, the only remaining publication from the imprint’s launch.

According to the Hellblazer Index, John Constantine – created by comics legend Alan Moore in 1985 – is the most intriguing character in comics today. Constantine is a working-class mage, a thief, a con-artist, a former punk, and the savior of the known universe. Constantine is by turns a total bastard, a drunk, a trickster, an adrenaline junkie, a womanizer, and sometimes – when no one is looking – a nice guy. He has no superpowers, only a sharp wit, a little bit of magic, and a reputation Aleister Crowley would envy: a combination that makes Constantine an exciting character to read. Instead of weighty declamations, Constantine’s dialog is full of snappy comments, nasty digs, and unexpected wisdom. He is, with the possible exception of Batman, the most complex person in the DC family of publications.

Resources: Constantine, 2005 supernatural thriller

Resources: Hellblazer comic

Originally written on Wednesday, July 27, 2011