Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES (2-DISC): Disc 1:- Audio commentary
from director Francis Lawrence and Akiva Goldsman, Frank Cappello
& Kevin Brodbin. 'Passive' music video from 'A Perfect Circle'.
Disc 2:- Deleted scenes, including an alternative ending. 'The
Production From Hell' documentary gallery: Director's Confessional
/ Collision With Evil / Holy Relics. 'Imagining The Underworld'
documentary gallery: Visualising Vermin / Warrior Kings / Unholy
Abduction. 'Conjuring Constantine - From Comic Book To Film' featurette.
'Constantine Cosmology - The Mythology Behind The Movie' featurette.
'Foresight - The Power Of Pre-Visualisation' featurette. Easter
Eggs (hidden features)
KEANU Reeves is no stranger to tussling with Satan given his
track record in films such as Bill & Ted's Bogus Adventure
and The Devil's Advocate, yet Constantine marks his most impressive
Based on the popular DC Comics/Hellblazer graphic novels, the
film is a visually stunning and frequently exciting exploration
of heaven and hell, as witnessed through the eyes of its central
Reeves is the John Constantine of the title, a cancer-ridden,
sarcastic mortal, who has literally been to hell and back.
Born with a gift he did not want, the ability to clearly recognise
the half-breed angels and demons that roam the earth, he attempted
to take his own life, only to be resuscitated against his will.
Now, marked as an attempted suicide
with a temporary lease on life, he patrols the earthly border
between heaven and hell - or Los Angeles, to you and me - in a
desperate bid to gain salvation by sending the devil's foot-soldiers
back to hell.
When he is approached by Rachel Weisz's desperate police detective,
Angela Dodson, however, to investigate the apparent suicide of
her twin sister, Constantine suddenly finds himself thrust into
the middle of a wager between God and the Devil for the souls
of all mankind.
The ensuing action-adventure finds Constantine racing against
time to prevent the unthinkable from happening, while battling
his own personal torment in a bid to earn a place back on the
stairway to heaven.
And for the most part, it's a supremely enjoyable thrill-ride
packed with terrific special effects and a wonderful array of
oddball characters - Tilda Swinton and Djimon Hounsou, especially,
make the right sort of impression.
Reeves is great fun as the deeply sarcastic hero, while Weisz
cuts a suitably spiky heroine, and both do well not to be drowned
out by the special effects.
What's more, the look and feel of the film is such that viewers
should feel suitably edgy throughout, particularly as first-time
director, Francis Lawrence, knows how to sustain tension.
From its thrilling opening moments (which include an impressive
exorcism) to the moment Constantine starts twiddling his holy
shotgun, audiences are likely to be enthralled.
It's just a shame that Lawrence fails to deliver a conclusion
that truly satisfies, preferring to revert to overly familiar
good-versus-evil battles that present the hero with his inevitable
moment of reckoning.
You can pretty much guess the outcome after a certain point although
an added scene after the end credits is well worth hanging around
Criticisms aside, however, Constantine does enough to guarantee
that fans of both the graphic novels and Reeves in general should
be in for one hell of a good time.