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Overall Rating
3.47

Awesome: 19.02%
Worth A Look41.72%
Average: 17.18%
Pretty Bad: 11.66%
Total Crap: 10.43%

10 reviews, 103 user ratings


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Constantine
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by EricDSnider

"Keanu practices some Neo-Catholicism."
4 stars

The world of "Constantine" is a complicated one, combining elements of Catholicism, philosophy, theology and good ol' comic-book horror. Our guide through this complex system is Keanu Reeves, who demonstrated in the "Matrix" films that, if nothing else, he can shut up and let the bizarre movie around him speak for itself.

"Constantine," stylishly shot by music video director Francis Lawrence (with a nod also due to cinematographer Philippe Rousselot), is a good enough movie to make you forget, most of the time, how truly dreadful Reeves' stilted, monotonous delivery is. There is a lot of talking here, often about things we don't quite understand because the movie hasn't explained all the rules yet, but most of it is done by the other characters, not Reeves.

Reeves plays John Constantine, a freelance exorcist who has a special connection to hell, having spent a few moments there during a near-death experience. Now, dying of lung cancer, he knows for reasons I won't spoil for you that when he draws his last gasping breath, he will be delivered to hell permanently.

In the meantime, he roams the streets of Los Angeles -- where else could a film about Heaven vs. Hell be set but the City of Angels? -- maintaining the balance. You see, demons and angels are not allowed to come to our plane; they can only influence the people here. There are people called half-breeds, though, who are part human and part demon or angel, and who are therefore more susceptible to influence by their respective supernatural forces. This keeps things balanced. When a demon breaks the rules and actually crosses over into our world -- usually in the form of a possession, a la "The Exorcist" -- John "deports" that sucker back to hell, where he belongs.

John meets an LAPD detective named Angela (Rachel Weisz) whose mentally ill twin sister has just died, an apparent suicide, though Angela is skeptical. This ties in somehow with an unusually high rate of demon sightings that John has had lately, as well as with something called the Spear of Destiny that holds magic powers and was recently unearthed by a Gollum-ish Mexican boy. Some dusty old prophecies indicate all of this is a sign that Mammon, the son of Satan, is about to take over the world. This prospect is problematic for a lot of people, as you might imagine, so John must, you know, save the world and stuff.

John is aided by a few people, who no doubt support his mission more than they support him, since he is sullen and moody (though, in fairness, no more so than these reluctant-hero types usually are). Chas (Shia LaBeouf), whom John calls his apprentice but who is mostly his chauffeur, and Beeman (Max Baker), a geek who lives in a bowling alley and assists John with weapons and general nerdery, both provide some comic relief amid the brief sojourns to hell and the end-of-days mayhem.

There is also Gabriel (Tilda Swinton), a half-angel woman who advises John on occasion; her counterpart is Balthazar (Gavin Rossdale), a fey, nattily dressed half-demon.

I freely confess that there were several times in the film when I had no idea what was going on, so thick is the mythology surrounding John Constantine's world, and so intermittently does the screenplay (by Kevin Brodbin and Frank Cappello) spell it out. But I generally enjoyed myself anyway, finding many of the theological ideas thought-provoking and much of the action butt-kicking. It's a pretty respectable Good vs. Evil action thriller, filling its minutes not just with relentless adventure, but with stories and ideas, too, and always looking cool while it does it.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=11745&reviewer=247
originally posted: 02/18/05 15:38:31
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell flawed but imaginative 4 stars
4/26/09 Man Out 6 Bucks Lked it. If only because I thought it a SeaBiscuit sequel, and it wasn't 4 stars
1/03/09 the dork knight ...why do the characters whisper so much? 3 stars
8/03/08 Farnsy Yes I agree, I hated it 1 stars
6/22/08 Jeffrey G You're either going to love it or hate it. I loved it.. 5 stars
5/16/08 PAUL SHORTT SLOW, SILLY, STUPID, INTOLERABLE, OFFENSIVE 1 stars
10/24/07 Ivana Mann Unintelligible dialogue,incomprehensible "plot."The Exorcist for frat boys.Blech! 1 stars
5/02/07 Tracey Chambers love this movie. cool story. pretty good acting. 5 stars
4/12/07 fools♫gold I can't decide whether I like it or not, and I like it when that happens! 2 stars
1/31/07 William Boyle A good story badly told. Reeves is Mr Smith on tranquillizers. 3 stars
12/05/06 porcelain piece one of the best films ive seen ... <333 5 stars
8/10/06 Dragon The Artist The film would have been better if they ditched that cheeseball, Keanu Reeves,if you ask me 2 stars
6/27/06 Criddic2 Effects, art direction fine; overdone much of the time tho 3 stars
4/21/06 Isis Bethea This movie is the best i have seen since the Matrix. I love Keanu Reeves in this movie 5 stars
3/19/06 Martin Very interesting and beautiful site. It is a lot of helpful information. Thanks! 5 stars
2/20/06 kirk a work of art! 5 stars
12/30/05 Simon Entertained; but terribly acted and scripted. 3 stars
11/25/05 CONSTANTINE AWSOME... Could've been BETTER; the sequeal should redeem itself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
11/16/05 Adrian As far as comic book movies go, it's great. Other than that, its mediocre. 4 stars
10/25/05 Last Tango Imp Heiress Why hasn't the spear of destiny been beaten into the pruning hook of deatiny by now? 4 stars
10/17/05 BillW God has forsaken us...He allowed this hideous film to be made! 1 stars
10/11/05 CONSTANTINE AWESOME... Sort of! 5 stars
9/13/05 Indrid Cold Special effects: 50 million. Decent script: priceless, apparently. 2 stars
8/28/05 John F fell sleep!!!!!!!! 2 stars
8/19/05 ES feelings of hellboy and van helsing, never a good sign 1 stars
8/17/05 Betty Ann Kahn Probably the worst movie I have ever seen. First of all, it's based on the premise that Hel 1 stars
8/16/05 john smith mediocre acting, other than that it was awesome 4 stars
8/09/05 jada boring, yawn, glad it was only a rental 2 stars
8/07/05 Monday Morning Impressive effects but the story and acting were truly terrible 2 stars
8/05/05 JFK great film 4 stars
8/02/05 tatum No big deal... 4 stars
8/01/05 Kenny Tew The only good thing about this film is that its bad enough to be laugh out loud funny. 1 stars
7/29/05 john constantine this movie is the bomb. 5 stars
7/25/05 Eric Rollins Reeves redeemsself from the Matrix fiasco. Stunning. 5 stars
7/25/05 Dan Kind of hard to follow, but still very thought provoking. 4 stars
7/09/05 Moctezuma Dark, original, and downright fun. I loved it! 5 stars
7/02/05 kaz at last!! an adult comic book story!! 5 stars
6/04/05 Denise Gannon yo duuuude... i can't act! i can like say the words but i'm sooo uuuunconvincing duuude. 2 stars
5/22/05 Cham Not an ounce of originality to be found, but a great flick for the big screen. 3 stars
5/12/05 Mike Didn't like it, sorry. 2 stars
4/29/05 Mider great stuff 4 stars
4/29/05 Mider Excellent 4 stars
4/29/05 Peter Only Rachel Weisz gives a great performance here 3 stars
4/20/05 Krisan definatly spooky :) 4 stars
4/19/05 Nicole Baugh Wasn't what I epected it to be form trailer, but I still liked it. 4 stars
4/19/05 The Sorrow This is way better than "HELLBOY"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
4/19/05 Maril Smith Loved this film - Keanu Reeves played an excellent sarcastic hero in an intriguing plot 5 stars
4/17/05 Cary Gordon A little to Keanu-ized for those who liked the books, but still decent. 4 stars
4/16/05 Gail Crawford well done, intense 5 stars
4/14/05 Littlepurch I enjoyed it.Keanu and Weisz great leads. Wasn't all mindless action.Liked Satan at da end. 4 stars
4/10/05 Vince Dull fanboy drivel 1 stars
4/02/05 irene diaz Entertaining, but not very good plot wise 3 stars
3/26/05 Brad If you check your brain out at the door, it's fun 4 stars
3/25/05 hannaho As a fan of the comic book, I've got to say somewhat disappointing. 3 stars
3/24/05 Christine I really liked this one very much and Keanu was great! 5 stars
3/23/05 Victoria Ross I like watching Keanu Reeves in any movie. 4 stars
3/22/05 Obi Wan One of the DVD collection! Very good film, Keanu was better than most days! 5 stars
3/22/05 xxplosive Had it's faults but in all it was good. 4 stars
3/20/05 Lord Jiggy Worthy effort, visually stunning, interesting pace. Check it out. 4 stars
3/19/05 Rachel Freaking loved it, and did anyone stay after the credits? 5 stars
3/19/05 PAMELA HANSEN a msut see for all a definite mustr buy whenon dvd cannot wait 5 stars
3/16/05 G I thought the movie was good, did not see any holes in the plot, excellent FX. 5 stars
3/11/05 The Sorrow One of the best medicore "comic-book-adaptations" ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 stars
3/10/05 kaz hey..i liked a walk in the clouds!! 5 stars
3/08/05 Shirley the noir mood is fascinating 5 stars
3/08/05 Caiphn What does he say? "Demons.. and talons".. can't remember, but funny! 3 stars
3/06/05 maxomai Good flick, left me wanting more. Keanu doesn't fit here. 4 stars
3/03/05 Adam almost as bad as another Keanu reves movie "A walk in the clouds" 1 stars
3/02/05 David Tsung keanu, stick to matrix movies 2 stars
3/02/05 Jack Bourbon Nonsensical, and Peter Stormare was silly 2 stars
3/02/05 If the Spear of Destiny really fulfilled Biblical prophecy..... It would have been beaten into the Pruning Hook of Destiny by now! 3 stars
3/02/05 "Tilda Swinton" is really Cate Blanchett Exorcist meets Alien meets Clockstoppers. Still peculiarly appealing somehow. 4 stars
3/01/05 milk funny and action packed. a real treat. make sure you stay after the trailer. ^__^ 5 stars
2/28/05 Meryl Wonderful. First movie I've loved in a long time. 5 stars
2/27/05 mike a total waste of time 1 stars
2/27/05 M Its like a 2 hr long anti smoking ad! Very silly!! 2 stars
2/27/05 Graves Lets hope that "Constantine 2" is far more like the "Hellblazer" comics + it'll be better!! 3 stars
2/26/05 James Kiang Not being too familiar with the source material, I found the movie sufficiently dark. 4 stars
2/26/05 Elizabeth S Enjoyed the visuals, theme, and Keanu's world-weary performance. 3 stars
2/25/05 "Tilda Swinton" is really Cate Blanchett Exorcist meets Alien meets Clockstoppers. Still peculiarly appealing somehow. 4 stars
2/25/05 Comixchick Read the comic from day one; still thought the movie was OK. Not great, OK. 4 stars
2/24/05 kaz LOVED IT!! Dream cast..spellbinding visuals 5 stars
2/23/05 othree Not Reeves' most excellent adventure +s on characters and comedy, best apocalyptic scenery 3 stars
2/23/05 Kefanii Nothing like the Hellblazer series, but who cares (besides bitter fans)? It was fantastic. 5 stars
2/23/05 Derek Movie Reviwers are FAR too analytical, but that's their job. Movie was GREAT 5 stars
2/22/05 Reign It's very nice. Especially for feeling psychic like me. 4 stars
2/22/05 re morgan I thought it was a 7 out of 10. i'm not familiar with the comic - it was good tho 4 stars
2/22/05 Graham K Cchei: go having read the comic book and you won't like it. Trust me. 2 stars
2/22/05 guisada good. 4 stars
2/21/05 Ahnold Stupid, very, very stupid. 1 stars
2/21/05 Jim The Movie Freak The longest anti-smoking ad ever! Kinda lame, kinda interesting. A rental at best. 3 stars
2/21/05 K Cchei Go knowing it's based on a comic book and you will enjoy it 5 stars
2/21/05 Mark D Fulwiler dumb 2 stars
2/21/05 Edler The story has some problems, badly organized, lots of holes, but not bad 4 stars
2/21/05 leon trotsky This should have sucked...but somehow it came together OK. 4 stars
2/21/05 Gray not bad, but could have been great 3 stars
2/21/05 jeff nothin special. slow at times. 3 stars
2/19/05 y2mckay Far better than I expected. Fresh, sharply written, and KEANU IS GOOD! (I'm shocked too) 4 stars
2/19/05 KingNeutron Gabriel the 1/2 angel had a nice booty. :) 5 stars
2/19/05 BrianWilly I really liked it; a great mind**** of a film 5 stars
2/19/05 nick2k not bad for a movie about religion... 4 stars
2/19/05 Ronald Salazar I enjoyed the movie. 4 stars
2/13/05 dbx Saw it; was not at all what I expected; so much fun! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  18-Feb-2005 (R)
  DVD: 19-Jul-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  24-Feb-2005




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