A Look Back | Review of ‘Constantine’


By Cynthia Ayala

You know, this movie gets a lot of heat for being bad but you know I love it. I love Keanu Reeve’s as an actor, especially when he doesn’t talk because he blends into the characters. Moreover, this film, I mean it’s good. I love it.

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Keanu Reeves, Djimon Hounsou, and Shia LaBeouf in the film Constantine (2005)
Image Credit: Ravepad

Keanu Reeves plays DC Comics/Vertigo hero John Constantine, who battles the supernatural forces. In the case of the film he sees angels and demons, and he sends demons back to hell where they belong. Why? Because he’s trying to buy his way into heaven because he’s a suicide and the only place for him to go is hell. However, then something happens. Well, many things happen. One: Constantine is curious that a demon wants to eat its way out of a little girl. This is suspicious behavior becomes Demons possess; they don’t use humans as portals. Two: he is diagnosed with aggressive lung cancer. He’s living on borrowed time, and when he dies, the Devil himself is going to get him. Three: Angela (played by Rachel Weisz) is having a crisis of faith when her twin sister kills herself and demons are haunting her. Talk about complicated. And to make matters worse, the Devil’s son has decided that he needs Angela to enter the world.

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Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz in Constantine (2005)
Image Credit: Express

It’s a solid story that progresses very well and Keanu did a good job bringing the character to life. No, he’s not a blond, and he’s only half-British who sounds like a surfer boy, but he knows how to act, he knows how to be emotional, tough, and angry. Keanu brings the character to life, he’s an ass, no doubt about that, he’s perfect. He nailed the character down, and that should be recognized. Is Matt Ryan better? Yeah, he fits the bill, but Keanu wasn’t bad. He acted just like John Constantine, nailed the character down, even if he didn’t sound or look like the character. More importantly, the story has evolution. The characters evolve, Constantine most of all and that’s amazing to see a superhero film that focuses on the characters as much as the story. That is what makes a good movie.

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Tilda Swinton in Constantine (2005)
Image Credit: Vogue

Let’s not forget the other cast members who are amazing. Tilda Swinton plays the androgynous, “half-breed” angel, Gabriel, with a disdain for humanity. She plots to set Mammon (the son the Devil) free so that humans can understand the gift of heaven. Talk about delusional. And it was great because it came out of nowhere. It was the jaw-dropping moment of the film that followed the devastating death of Chas Kramer (played by Shia LaBeouf), it was an incredible scene for these two and brought to life everything. That was the moment, the real moment when Constantine realizes that everything was bigger than him. Well, not, I mean, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact scene where his character grows up and realizes that he can’t buy his way into heaven and that everything he does is selfish even though it helps others. He’s an ass, but that’s what makes him so great.

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Hellblazer Comics Image Credit: Grand Comics Database Project

But again, all these actors were fantastic and together they brought the film together, they made it something worth viewing and given everything that may contradict the Hellblazer comics, it is still a great film that focuses on the story and the character development. It doesn’t sacrifice anything for something else and brings the film to life and makes it great.

Also, Peter Stormare was a great Devil. Seriously, those 20 minutes with him were incredible. He should just always play the Devil.

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Peter Stromare in Constantine (2005)
Image Credit: Blood, Bath and Beyond

— Film Credits —

Directed by Francis Lawrence

Story by Kevin Brodbin

Screenplay by Kevin Brodbin & Frank A. Cappello

Based on Hellblazer by Jamie Delano & Garth Ennis

Starring: Keanu ReevesRachel WeiszShia LaBeoufDjimon HounsouMax BakerPruitt Taylor VinceGavin RossdaleTilda Swinton & Peter Stormare

Genre | Length | Rating: Drama, Fantasy, Horror | 2h 1min | R

Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures

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