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Constantine (2005)

DVD Cover (Warner Brother)
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5.4
 / 10
32 votes
Genres / Traits:
Horror, Religious Horror, Superhero Film, Supernatural Horror, Comics: DC
Director:
Francis Lawrence Francis Lawrence
Starring:
Keanu Reeves Keanu Reeves
Rachel Weisz Rachel Weisz
Shia LaBeouf Shia LaBeouf
Djimon Hounsou Djimon Hounsou
Max Baker Max Baker
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Review by Chad
Added: September 01, 2005
Note: I have never read any issues of the DC comic (Hellblazer) that this movie was based off of. Don't expect any comparisons, and keep in mind that I know nothing about the comic version.

Our movie revolves around John Constantine (Keanu Reeves), a man who can see the spirits and demons that walk the planet. Thanks to this gift, and thanks to the fact that he needs to atone for attempting suicide at a young age, he spends his time fighting the forces of Hell... mostly through exorcisms and whatnot. Since there's already a number of movies revolving around exorcisms, Constantine's job is about to get a bit trickier as the movie picks up. We learn that Balthazar (Gavin Rossdale of the rock band Bush), who is the son of Satan (played here by Peter Stormare), is attempting to break through to the mortal world and one-up his father in terms of the amount of misery and suffering he can cause. All of this somehow ties in with the Spear of Destiny (no, not the sequel to Wolfenstein), the possession of young Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz), and a traitor amongst the heroes. Constantine must save earth from the son of Satan, blah blah blah... need I even continue?

Here we have another big-budget Hollywood offering that attempts to put asses in seats through the modern marvel of CGI effects. However, this one actually attempts to put some semblance of a storyline behind these effects, and it's a storyline that could have made this an interesting movie. It's sad to say, however, that this storyline inclusion is what ruins the movie. Perhaps I would appreciate that side of things more had I read the comic, but I was left clueless as to what was going on for a large chunk of the movie... and then, when all is revealed at the end, it left me with a "that was a huge waste of fucking time" feeling. For starters, I wasn't happy with all of the subplots / supporting characters who had absolutely no relevance in the grand scheme of things. Why give Constantine a sidekick (Shia LaBeouf, who runs circles around Reeves' performance) when he winds up with a grand total of four minutes of screen-time, does nothing to warrant even being in the movie, and dies in a very anticlimactic way? What was the point in having Midnite (Djimon Hounsou), the shaman / witch-doctor guy, involved when we just saw a few scenes earlier that Constantine is able to do the only thing that Midnite is good for on his own? Why does Constantine beg Midnite to help him out when we see that he is fully capable of doing it on his own? Don't even get me started on Constantine's friends, who have interesting characters but seem to be present only to provide demon fodder. The one thing I will say about this movie is that it had an interesting ending... however, a nice five-minute scene to finish the movie can not salvage the ninety minutes worth of pure horror (and not in a genre sort of way) that preceded it.

One thing in particular that bugged me about this movie was the cast. Most of the actors and actresses turned in some pretty damned good performances considering the type of movie this is, but there is one glaring exception... that would be the star of the movie himself, Keanu Reeves. While he was decent enough in The Matrix and I've never really had a problem with his performances, here he turns in one hell of a lackluster performance. Everything from him seems extremely forced, he seems like he doesn't really want to be there, and with the exception of a scene or two, he has zero on-screen presence. He's just there, he's reading his lines, he's going through the motions, but you really never give a shit about his attempts at saving the world. Another thing that I wasn't fond of was the way that he spoke as though he had a mouth full of marbles. I've watched Aussie movies, British movies, Irish movies, and various other films featuring a cast full of people with heavy accents - and as long as they're speaking English, I've never had to resort to using subtitles. Here, Reeves' speaks in an American accent and he's speaking English... yet, I still had to use the subtitles to figure out just what in the hell he was saying in a number of scenes. Maybe that was just me, but it sure bugged the heck out of yours truly having to rewind over and over to catch what it was that he was saying.

Overall, it's got some nice special effects, a mediocre storyline, and that's about it. This is one of those movies that produces a damned nice trailer chock-full of awesome effects and sounds good on paper, but when it comes to watching the feature-length presentation... give it a skip. 4/10.
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The Exorcist The Exorcism Of Emily Rose Bless The Child The Reaping The House Of The Devil Satan's School For Lust Children Of The Corn The Omen
Tristan #1: Tristan - added 08/13/2005, 02:41 AM
They could have done sooo much better without Reeves in it. He cheapens movies.
BuryMeAlive #2: BuryMeAlive - added 09/01/2005, 08:31 PM
Agree with you, he is a real lame actor.
bluemeanie #3: bluemeanie - added 09/02/2005, 07:44 PM
Reeves does have talent, just not with these kind of films. "Constantine", "The Matrix", "Johnny Nmemonic" -- he goes for these weird sci-fi flicks, but he can bring nothing to them. Then, take films like "The Gift", "Something's Gotta Give" and the upcoming "Thumsucker" -- he does a great job. I think Reeves is just a character actor trapped inside an action heroes body. When he finally starts sticking to what works, I think he will have a pretty successful career outside of trash like this. 2/10.
Ganon #4: Ganon - added 09/03/2005, 10:53 AM
I'm totally gay for Keanu Reeves, Constantine is awesome. Did you guys ever see those Matrix movies, they were totally sweet, too.
. #5: . - added 09/13/2005, 08:37 PM
I absolutely love this movie. Keanu Reeves was surprisingly funny in this.
BuryMeAlive #6: BuryMeAlive - added 07/21/2006, 06:50 AM
Keanu Reeves is a terrible actor, but this movie was allright, but not more than that.
Griffinheart #7: Griffinheart - added 10/10/2007, 12:23 AM
One of these days I'll pick a film to comment on that we agree on, but I enjoyed this one quite a bit. 8/10 easily. If you want to see an even better version of how Constantine gets around his lung cancer problem, pick up some of the comic books. The ending is brilliant.
danimigra #8: danimigra - added 03/15/2008, 05:51 PM
i like this one.
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