Thursday, February 11, 2021

#2,531. Constantine (2005)


This is the first time I’ve watched Constantine since its theatrical run, and for some reason I was disappointed by it back then. Though I have no idea why; based on the DC Comics / Vertigo graphic novel and directed by Francis Lawrence, Constantine is a stylish, action-packed tale of angels, demons, and one man’s struggle to keep both in check.

Because he attempted suicide as a teen, John Constantine (Keanu Reeves) knows his eternal soul is damned. But he hopes that, by exorcising demons and casting them back into hell, he might redeem himself in the eyes of God.

Recently, however, things have gotten more intense than usual; the chain-smoking Constantine is dying of lung cancer, and the demons that possess the innocent are bolder than ever. When the death of a pretty mental patient named Isabel (Rachel Weisz) is ruled a suicide, her twin sister, police detective Angela (also played by Weisz), turns to Constantine for help (Angela believes there’s no way Isabel, a devout Catholic, would risk damnation by taking her own life).

But there’s more to this situation than either of them realize, and, quite possibly, more on the line than even Constantine can handle.

Keanu Reeves is solid as the title character, but it’s the supporting cast that truly shines, including Tilda Swinton (as the Archangel Gabriel), Pruitt Taylor Vince (as the alcoholic Father Hennessey), and – especially - Peter Stormare (whose brief appearance as the Prince of Darkness marks my favorite moment in the film).

Though CGI-heavy, the effects aren’t bad (I especially liked the film’s depiction of hell), and there are individual scenes, like Constantine’s first exorcism, that work wonderfully.

My initial objections aside (whatever they might have been), I really enjoyed catching up with Constantine, and look forward to watching it again in the near future.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10

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