Based on the DC Comic series Hellblazer, Constantine is a theological noir film that is a nice blend of action and supernatural horror.John Constantine (Keanu Reeves) is a cancer ridden, chain smoking exorcist who hunts down half breed demons and sends them back to hell. Having committed the mortal sin of suicide many years earlier Constantine had a snapshot tour of hell whilst he was technically dead for four minutes before the doctors revived him. Determined not to spend his afterlife in the bowels of hell, he is on a mission to please God in the hope that his previous sins may be overlooked when his time comes.
Angela (Rachel Weisz), a very sceptical police detective enlists Constantine’s service to help solve the mysterious death of her twin sister. The investigation leads them to do battle with demons whose numbers seem to be on the rise. They also uncover a plot involving the Son of Satan that could bring about the apocalypse which, if he can stop it, Constantine sees as his ticket to redemption.
The special effects in Constantine are amazing. The visualisation of hell is spectacular and the computer generated demons Constantine faces are very realistic. On the acting front Keanu does his deadpan anti-hero thing again, a style that isn’t about to win him an Oscar but suits the character fine here. Rachel Weisz is very good in her role as is the supporting cast which includes Tilda Swinton as Gabriel and Peter Stormare as Satan. It does get a little bogged down in biblical mysticism for its own good which may be a little too much for an audience expecting a no-brainer action flick.Fans of the source may never forgive director Francis Lawrence for moving the story from England to Los Angeles and making Constantine a dark haired American (in the comic he is a blond Englishman). But if you forget the original comic and see it as a movie in its own right, it is still far superior to the likes of End of Days when it comes to big budget apocalyptic action flicks.