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Constantine [HD DVD]


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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

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley TOP 100 REVIEWER on Aug. 3 2006
Format: DVD
I have no familiarity whatsoever with the graphic novel upon which this film is based, so I can only address the film in and of itself. And I must say that I rather enjoyed it for the most part. Anything with angels and demons always interests me, and this film put a quirky spin on the agents of God and Lucifer. Since John Constantine seems to be a pretty tight-lipped fellow who doesn't reveal much of himself to anyone, Keanu Reeves seems like a pretty good pick to play the part - there's not too much acting required for this one.

So what's this all about? Well, John Constantine has this gift (or curse) to see and interact with creatures from both heaven and hell; he's already been to hell and back once - literally - and therein lies his biggest problem. Since he did commit suicide, he's not eligible for a ticket to heaven later on - and this second life he was given is hurtling toward an impending end thanks to all those cigarettes he's chain-smoked for years. He's content to go his own moping way, dealing with particularly difficult exorcisms when called upon and generally just bemoaning his awful fate. Then a female cop (Rachel Weisz) shows up asking for his help; her sister supposedly committed suicide, but she doesn't believe it. Both Rachel and her sister were pretty special, for they could also see the things Constantine sees (although it takes some rather intense training for Constantine to reawaken those abilities in his new, temporary partner). It soon seems obvious that something big is going down. More and more demons are trying to cross into our world, violating a big treaty between God and Lucifer (who would have thought that demons couldn't be trusted?), and that just doesn't bode well for anybody.
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By Paul Lescarmure on Dec 1 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
You've got to love a "Chandler-esque crime-er", with an Archangel & a career-psychic, arguing about stuff in 1st reel. "...I'm seeing a lot of soul-traffic lately, Gabriel. Maybe The Boss could give me an extension...Do our side some good, these days... ".

Intense, cynical John Constantine "sees things"--has done since his elementary-school days. He was institutionalized in his teens & manged to kill himself--which means he's got just 1 place to go...The titular Constantine lives in a world almost none of us ever visit--but he's got more'n one dirty little secret: also, he's about to exit our world, for good...

Throw in pale-skinned, blonde-haired, slender Tilda Swinton ( Gabriel), lovely, serious, russet-haired Rachel Weisz (as an L.A.P.D. detective & eventually, Constantine's nominal client), Peter Stormare (a white-suited "southern Gentleman"--version of Lucifer), Shia Lebouf (an L.A. cabbie obsessed with Witchcraft & Demonism, & who's John's faithful apprentice), Djimon Hounsou (a latter-day African Witch-doctor, who runs a nightclub), Max Baker (an insect-obsessed academic/ gear-fixer-upper) & a greasy, dapper, malicious Max Baker (1/2-demon Balthazar--causing all kinds of...well, H#ll) & you have a cool ensemble cast that spins a cool yarn.

Set in a World where the general tenets of Judeao-Christian spirituality is as literal & far-reaching ("...the world behind the world... behind every door & window... ") as the criminal code, this story sees the titular John Constantine riding through the streets of L.A., like a berserk immigration detective, deporting demi-demon's "sorry asses" back to you-know-where...
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By Robert Badgley TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 9 2010
Format: DVD
The Feb/2005 released movie Constantine,based on the Hellblazer comic series,comes to DVD in a widescreen edition that is interesting in its premise but falters in its' delivery.
The story involves one John Constantine(Keanu Reeves)who has always had the ability to see things people weren't "meant to see".He has done alot of bad things in his life and he has tried to atone for them by working against evil so when he goes his path will lead up and not down.One day he is approached by a police woman named Angela Dodson(Rachel Weisz)to help her regarding her twin sister's untimely death;a plunge off of a roof.At first John balks but relents,soon realizing there is more to the death than meets the eye.John journeys to the other side and back and even assists Angela in doing the same,but they realize too late that her sisters death was basically a ruse to get at Angela.
John learns that the archangel Gabriel is actually working with the son of the devil to unleash his progeny onto the world.In order to do this Angela becomes the host for the child and the angel will use the "spear of destiny"(the actual tip of the lance that was used to kill Jesus on the cross)to open her womb and release evil to rule man.Gabriel reckons that only those that survive the time to come will be worthy of God's real salvation.In the meantime John has summoned the Devil himself in a last ditch attempt to foil the Devil's son and the archangel's plans.The Devil indeed stops the birth and renders the angel wingless and earth bound.He returns to John who asks that Angela's sister be let free from Hell in his stead.
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