Preview by: Jack Foley
ADVANCE word is beginning to hot up on new Keanu Reeves flick,
Constantine, following initial scepticism about the casting of
the former Matrix star.
Following the release of advance footage at the recent San Diego
Comic-Con convention, and an appearance by the star himself, most
people’s scepticism turned to euphoric optimism, according
to a report on Empire Online.
The film finds Reeves as a world-weary investigator of the supernatural,
who teams up with a sceptical police officer, in the form of Rachel
Weisz’s Angela, to investigate the apparent suicide of her
As they become more involved in the mystery, however, Angela
is introduced to a new world of angels and demons beneath and
beside the world she knows, while John Constantine is struggling
to find a way to defeat his own terminal lung cancer.
The $100 million film is based upon the Hellblazer comic book
series, and fell foul of fans immediately, who thought the Matrix
star had been mis-cast - especially since, in comic book form,
Constantine is British and blonde.
But, after they were shown 17 minutes
of footage, fans have been given a renewed sense of faith in the
According to Empire, footage included an ‘out of the blue’
car accident, described by Empire as ‘one of the best committed
to film’, as well as several demon attacks, a terrifying
exorcism (which looks set to run rings around Exorcist:
The Beginning) and a sequence in which Constantine destroys
a room filled with demons, with only a crucifix gun and a sprinkler
system filled with holy water.
The depiction of Hell is also said to be visually impressive,
as was an appearance by Tilda Swinton as the Archangel Gabriel.
Adds Empire: "This is dark, brooding, deeply twisted and
disturbed, visually stunning and, most of all, very scary."
Director, Francis Lawrence, maintains that this is no Van Helsing
re-tread, but rather a film which does justice to the comic book
origins, which maintains a creepy feel throughout.
While Reeves, who appears to have done enough to convince the
fans of his suitability, maintains that the role has rapidly become
one of his personal favourites.
He is commented as saying of Constantine: "I really loved
the guy. I loved his anger. I loved his wry sense of humour about
the awfulness of the world and what that’s turned him into.
He’s like a warrior in this world of shit, and he’s
trying to deal with it."
Constantine has been provisionally pencilled in for a UK release
on March 18, 2005.