We watched Constantine on HBO Max and I realized that I had a bunch of unfounded ill-will toward this movie, which is pretty good.
Constantine is about John Constantine (Keanu Reeves), a DC character whose job is essentially to send demons back to hell. Or at least he made it his job when he realized that he was heading there.
He is approached by Angela (Rachel Weisz) and asked to help her prove that her twin sister didn’t commit suicide. As a devout Catholic, Angela realizes that if her sister did actually commit suicide she damned herself to hell.
With the help of his plucky sidekick, Chas (Shia LaBeouf) and some of his friends, John is on the case.
He finds himself in the middle of a war where the Devil’s son, Mammon, is trying to unleash himself into the world of the living.
Everyone gets more holy hand grenades than they bargained for.
Constantine is a pretty impressive movie in a couple different ways.
Firstly, it had a large budget and was able to spend a lot of it on CGI monsters and backdrops, which wouldn’t normally be a plus. But this CGI from 2005 actually holds up quite well.
It also has enough action and interesting characters to keep you involved in the movie from beginning to end. In fact, the Angel Gabriel (Tilda Swinton) and Satan (Peter Stormare) are some of the best depictions of well-known Bible characters that I’ve ever seen on screen.
Constantine doesn’t dwell on the origin story, while still acknowledging it, which is a breath of fresh air in today’s hyper-cookie-cutter style comic book movie world.
By the end of Constantine, if you are bought in on the story the payoff will be pretty impressive.
It’s not without fault, however. This movie came out two years after The Matrix trilogy concluded, and it feels like a direct port of that series in a lot of ways. From the stylized world to the monotone color pallet to starring Keanu as the savior of mankind – it’s uh, kind of obvious.
Also, it was originally touted as a horror movie and I can see where it threw in scary imagery and concepts to try and please the horror crowd. Make no mistake, this is not what I would call a “hard-horror movie”. This is an action-thriller that dealt with some of the scarier elements of religion, and the studio figured they could get a bigger audience if they could draw the horror crowd. This was my issue with the movie when I originally watched it on the bigscreen.
Overall, it’s a pretty fun movie that I would watch again after a few years. It was a much better Catholic horror movie than The Nun, so there’s that.
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