Horror starring Keanu Reeves as John Constantine, a man who was born with a gift he didn't want - the ability to clearly recognise the half-breed angels and demons that walk the earth in human skin. Constantine was driven to take his own life to escape the tormenting clarity of his vision, but he failed. Resuscitated against his will, he found himself cast back into the land of the living. Now, marked as an attempted suicide with a temporary lease on life, he patrols the earthly border between heaven and hell, hoping in vain to earn his way to salvation by sending the devil's foot soldiers back to the depths. But Constantine is no saint. Disillusioned by the world around him and at odds with the one beyond, he's a hard-drinking, hard-living bitter hero who scorns the very idea of heroism. When a desperate but skeptical police detective (Rachel Weisz) enlists his help in solving the mysterious death of her beloved twin sister (also played by Weisz), their investigation takes them through the world of demons and angels that exists just beneath the landscape of contemporary Los Angeles. Caught in a catastrophic series of otherworldly events, the two become inextricably involved and seek to find their own peace at whatever cost.
In the grand scheme of theological thrillers, Constantine
aspires for the greatness of The Exorcist
but ranks more closely with The Order
. Based on the popular Hellblazer
comic book series, and directed with nary a shred of intelligence by music video veteran Francis Lawrence, it's basically The Matrix
with swarming demons instead of swarming machines. Keanu Reeves slightly modifies his Matrix persona as John Constantine, who roams the dark-spots of Los Angeles looking for good-evil, angel-devil half-breeds to ensure that "the balance" between God and Satan is properly maintained. An ancient artifact and the detective twin of a woman who committed evil-induced suicide (Rachel Weisz) factor into the plot, which is taken so seriously that you'll want to stand up and cheer when Tilda Swinton swoops down as the cross-dressing angel Gabriel and turns this silliness into the camp-fest it really is. The digital effects are way cool (dig those hellspawn with the tops of their heads lopped off!), so if you don't mind a juvenile lesson in pseudo-Catholic salvation, Constantine
is just the movie for you! --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com