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Sorry...I liked it...
LAKERS3425 July 2005
This is a's not supposed to be so rooted in reality that we scoff at the implausibilities and the plot holes... We're not watching it to say "look at how that happened" or "why is it all happening here in L.A. when we have these worldwide problems" or...whatever... It has to happen somewhere; either you buy off on the fable and get into the story or you flush it...

While not being Catholic, through theological edification I was able to make sense of storyline, ironies, metaphors, etc... I liked Reaves' character and again, it's a matter of preference - love or hate - but he played Constantine's miserable demon-cop just right - Reaves continues to find rolls suited to his particular, dark style. Special effects were great, and I give the film kudos for not diving in and becoming an effects remains online to the story and where we're going... Weisz as heroine and Peter Stormare as Lucifer himself were well-cast. What can I say? It was great diversion and a fun DVD to watch. Check it out!
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Possibly one of the greatest supernatural films of all time
A_Different_Drummer22 April 2017

You need context.

This review penned in 2017, some 12 years after the release.

In this period, Marvel and DC are at each other's throats, each trying to monetize every character, sub-character, plot device and dust bunny from their respective libraries. Regardless of merit. It is all about the dollars.

A story as pure as this one -- penned by Kevin Brodbin -- could never be done today because it lacks the setup for a dozen spinoffs and sequels, as well as the mandatory backstory and product placements.

Sporting two of the most charismatic and photogenic stars of all time, at the peak of their careers, we have a story with no bad lines, no lapses in the arcs, and no time wasted. Just pure, engrossing, film pleasure from beginning to end.

Yes, I know that it was not appreciated in its day. But the future is always the final judge.
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The most highly anticipated supernatural horror film of my life!
ivo-cobra817 November 2015
Constantine (2005) in my opinion is an underrated Comic Book Film and one of my favorite anticipated supernatural horror flicks of my life. Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz reunite in this flick, after 9.years later when they both made together Chain Reaction (1996) one of my favorite sci-fi action flick. Anyway beside End of Days (1999) with Schwarzenegger in the starring role, Constantine is the only supernatural horror film that I know and like. After just watching this film I must say is a far way million times better than overrated The Exorcist (1973) that everyone highly praises that film. I love this movie to death and it is my fifth favorite best Keanu Reeves movie. John Constantine is iconic character that I think that Keanu Reeves did impressive acting performance, including way better job than he did in movies he is doing this days.

I love this film. It has nice, thoroughly believable action for this sort of supernatural fare, and attractive leads in the shape of Keanu & Rachel, supported by Tilda Swinton as god's right-hand, Gabriel (reprising her Orlando persona). It looks great too and does the merging of separate worlds (Earth and Hell) very well. Keanu plays an embittered exorcist with a 30 a day habit and some caustic barbs for anyone he runs into. Rachel Weisz enters as a cop with some private history of her own connected with the occult world, and soon the two of them are drawn towards apocalypse & hell on earth. It's a throughly enjoyable purchase if you like the big theme Good Vs Evil, with the usual blurring, devils, angels, and shotguns firing holy shot. The CGI is also up to scratch, which isn't something you can always say on films being made even in 2008. Very, very enjoyable so long as you appreciate the subject matter and don't expect massive gun-battles, stop frame kung-fu, bullet time etc. An absolutely superb film. Keanu Reeves plays his role perfectly to his characters identity. Interesting throughout I was gripped to this film from start to finish. One of the best comic adaptations without a doubt.

This is the type of comic book movie that I like to see; R rated, good action scenes, badass main character (and in Constantine case he sure is one considering that Devil himself will come to collect his soul), actors who actually do their job right, good direction, good score, no unnecessary bullshit subplots that are not needed and only extend the running time, great cinematography and visuals, and some decent practical effects. CGI maybe doesn't hold up but I personally don't have any problems with it in this case. My only problems with the film are again all the hate that it gets. I still don't get the hate for this film, I love the storyline , the action and the twists. Specially this is Keanu Reeves I see in here. 10.years ago he was a promise actor now he is a sold out washed up actor who just doesn't care about his fans any more. He keeps wearing long hair and he has a beard + he can't act anymore. Watch Knock Knock (20015) and you will see what I am talking about.

Constantine tells the story of John Constantine (Keanu Reeves), a man who has literally been to hell and back. When he teams up with skeptical policewoman Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) to solve the mysterious suicide of her twin sister, their investigation takes them through the world of demons and angels that exists just beneath the landscape of contemporary Los Angeles. Caught in a catastrophic series of otherworldly events, the two become inextricably involved and seek to find their own peace at whatever cost.

That's the basic plot. It is more apocalyptic movie that means end of the world. Gabriel (Tilda Swinton) the archangel believes that by bringing Hell to Earth, humans can become worthy of Gods love through repentance and faith. The movie has everything, ghosts, demons, arch angels it even has Lucifer (Peter Stormare) in it. Rachel Weisz did a perfect outstanding job as female lead in this movie. I seriously love her performance and I love Keanu Reeves. Shia LaBeouf also did a perfect job as Chas Kramer, Constantine's friend and helper, I feel sad that he had to die by the end of the movie and his character was killed off.

Overall I am giving this movie 10/10 because this movie deserves it and it doesn't need to be hated for it by critics or fans. The movie was fun and I have enjoy it!
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Constantine Comment
ttbloodlusttt5 September 2005
This movie was really great in my opinion. If you like the horror/sci-fi genre then this is definitely for you. The effects are great and the make-up is exceptional as well. Keanu and Rachel really compliment each other in the roles they are in. I wouldn't expect something phenomenal but this genre of movies is rarely gifted with such a insightfully plotted movie such as Constantine.The character build is great and the background of the characters isn't completely clouded which is awesome, there's no feeling of confusion when it comes to whats going on. It seems in some scenes the director was going for a certain emotion which made it feel awkward but the action and reactions are nice. Keanu really came across as tough doomed and uncaring, while Rachel came across as determined and brave. There is no reason to not give this movie a chance, if it seems like something you would like, i recommend seeing it. The concepts and setups aren't something of the usual nature so its a welcomed change of pace. I don't rate this 10/10 because is was astounding and mind shattering, a movie of the century, I rate it 10/10 because it was enjoyable and i have watched it many times without feeling tired of it. The score and soundtrack are great as well, providing some depth into certain scenes. The contrast and colors are good, although looking a little too dark in some scenes. The movie takes you to many places, so there is no feeling that you are in one place, sometimes I feel that movies that take place in the same space create a feeling of urgency, not so in Constantine. Some enjoyable aspects is the historical tie ins and use of terminology. All in all, this is an exceptional movie, it moves from scene to scene with little dragging in one spot, and has a great ending.
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Constantine is another one of those movies that you either love or hate.
Karilee4 September 2005
And I loved it.

I just watched Constantine on PPV, and like all films, it does have its minor flaws, but overall the story was interesting, and the special effects were nothing short of amazing.

Critics have been saying that Keanu Reeves' acting was horrible, but I disagree. Even though I can't deny that this wasn't him at his best, John Constantine is and angry and distant character, so Reeves couldn't display much emotion. All in all, he didn't do too bad.

Rachel Weisz was the star of the movie, giving a heartfelt performance. Gavin Rossdale was good, playing the bad guy card too perfection. And Djimon Housan, and Tilda Swinton were also great in their small roles. Shia LeBlouf, like Reeves, could have done a little better. Peter Stormare was perfect as Satan and my favorite character. He added a bit of humor to his demonic role.

There are some major differences between the comic book Hellblazer and the movie, like John Constantine was supposed to be British and resemble a rocker named Sting. But I've never read the comics, so I can't complain about these contradictions. But it seems to have the Hellblazer fans disappointed.

I do feel I should advise that this movie has nothing to do with Satanism. And to my knowledge, it was religiously correct. Save the part about demons and angels living on earth.

In the end, like I said before, you either love it or hate it. Simple as that.

my rating : 9/10
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Awesome Movie
kingofchighs4 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
All the actors in it did an amazing job minus Shia LaBeouf who, as usual, did a crappy job in a crappy role. Gavin Rossdale has an excellent performance as Balthazar and plays the role to its fullest. Rachel Weisz also puts out an awesome performance. Heres where I will likely get flamed but...Keanu Reeves also played the part of Constantine to its fullest I believe. Many have said hes too "Batman-ish" however I disagree. Constantine is a man who knows hes doomed to spend eternity in hell. Anyone who's less giddy about it than Keanu acts in the movie would appear to be rather fake. I think he did a wonderful job and is still a great actor, even though he kind of flopped it in the second and third Matrix.
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Excellent fantasy/horror movie
bonnie915 May 2006
I've seen Constantine three times and I enjoy it more each time I watch it! It is truly well-done and extremely entertaining, and I can guarantee that if you like horror, suspense and/or fantasy you will love this movie! Keanu Reeves plays a very cool Constantine, who is a modern-day exorcist but most certainly not to be confused with a priest, as he has his issues and a burden of sins from his past that he carries with him. Constantine is a very realistic and human hero who is devoid of superpowers but has all the cool gadgets and the kick-ass attitude needed to survive in a world slowly being invaded by demons and scheming angels. He meets Angela (Rachel Wiesz) after she loses her sister, Isabel to the forces of evil. She comes to Constantine in search of an answer on where Isabel has ended up following her apparent suicide. Constantine journeys to other realms/dimensions in an attempt to get those answers, even paying a couple of visits to hell. Needless to say, with such a plot the special effects, acting, sets, script and even wardrobe have to be carefully conceived and executed to make it believable, and they are... in spades.

Constantine achieves what all great movies always do: it takes you into another world that makes you forget everything about your own world the whole time you are watching it. And really, in the end, isn't that what great cinema is all about?
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Either you love it, or you don't
lovtrekvist28 June 2005
Constantine is one more of those movies that are adapted from a comic series. Now, people in comics' stories often seem pretty wild in the eyes of watchers or readers. Just think of Batman. Isn't Gotham City crazy? Constantine, I think, is a most excellent picturisation of the comic stories. It is full packed with action, the story is quite entertaining, there is wit, the actors are amazing, the way of filming is great. Just watch these pictures and camera stills. Beautiful! Constantie is worth going to a movie theater. The pictures may blow you away. It is stunning.

Go and watch it, make your own point of view. "My name is Constantine. Joe Constantine. ***"
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Loved It!
marcos_oliva16 May 2005
If you are a fan of Keanu Reeves then you'll love this movie. Of course, he plays a similar character to this other roles but so do most actors. I believe most actors are merely personalities and Keanu has a cool one at that.

The special effects were great and there were many picturesque scenes that will leave an imprint on your mind.

Even though I had never read the comic book I really appreciated this movie for it's religious theme. I think anyone can relate to the movie's notions of Heaven and Hell, good and evil.

The movie was funny, had just enough action, cool weapons, and breathtaking scenes. Most importantly, watching it, I easily felt transported into that world.

Great movie overall. I hope there is a sequel.
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See it! You won't be sorry!
kevinspaceysgrl20 February 2005
"Constantine" is a dark, yet dazzling film. A terrific story backed up by spectacular special effects and great cinematography pull us into a dark and dangerous world - a world where half-angels and half-demons whisper to us mortals as God and Satan use us as pawns in an apocalyptic game of chess. Cursed with ability too see these spirits, John Constantine finds himself right in the middle of this showdown.

Keanu Reeves gives a fantastic turn as John Constantine. He infuses Constantine with a grim sense of purpose and dark humor. He is the ultimate anti-hero, and Reeves deftly takes Constantine from being someone we simply root for to someone we actually like and respect.

Rachel Weisz is terrific as well. Her tortured and soulful performance is the best of the film. Shia LaBeouf also blew me away.

I have not read the Hellblazer comics, but standing alone "Constantine" is a great film. This one is a must see!
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Could've been better but still a fun ride!
CharmedAlice21 February 2005
My first sort-of mistake was going to see Constantine at 11:30 A.M.; this would have been a much better experience in a nighttime atmosphere I feel. In fact, I'm thinking about going again this weekend at night.

That being said, I still enjoyed this movie immensely. For starters, I actually thought Keanu was quite good in the role, and it didn't take long to forget drawing comparisons to Neo. I haven't read the comics, but I thought Keanu did a great job with the role... I laughed and winced right along with him, not at him! All the supporting actors (yes, Shia LeBeouf included) were great, and my only issue is that they didn't get enough screen time to explore their characters further. Djimon Hounsou was especially cool as Papa Midnite... with a name like that, how can you not be?! Finally, Rachel Weisz deserves the "better than the movie" comments she's been getting in reviews. Yes, she is that good, and she's pretty foreign to genre work (but should definitely do more)! I can't believe I'd only seen her in About a Boy before this; her magnetism had almost got me to pick up Confidence and Runaway Jury at the video store (which I have not. Yet). For one, she does a damn good American accent - I had forgotten that she's British. I'm sure many other reviewers will put this in better words than me, but she really adds a whole new level to this movie. Her performance is easily the most daring and heartfelt of the bunch, and I'd even go as far to call it subtly exquisite... a phrase I don't hesitate to equate with the actress herself. If Rachel Weisz had not been a part of Constantine I wouldn't have liked it half as much as I did. Even if you're not a Keanu or genre fan, I'd still check this movie out if you (like yours truly ;) have a thing for gorgeous, talented under-the-radar actresses.

Onto special effects. Pretty darn impressive, if you ask me. NEXT! I'm definitely very tempted to check out the Hellblazer comics because I really love the mythology and style of the Constantine universe. I mean, Hell as a parallel dimension to our own world? How cool is that? Certainly less banal than most movie versions of Hell. The story is based around Catholicism, and it's just how I like my organized religion -- all twisted! All in all, Constantine was made up of a lot of things that I really love in my movies: detailed fantasy universe, fun characters, good effects and action, and of course, the vulnerable-but-butt kicking woman. Yay! The major problem with the film, I feel, was bringing all of its elements together. Throughout the film I kept thinking to myself what I would've done differently. There was so much crammed into it that every single character and plot point felt underused and ignored -- not one thing was explored deeply enough for my satisfaction. They should have chosen just a few elements of this complex universe and story arc for this movie and left the other stuff for subsequent Hellblazer flicks (which I hope there will be!).

So basically, the parts here are very interesting and cool and worth a look-see, but the whole just can't service all of them. Which is a damn shame. I left the theatre wanting MORE, wanting to know more about the characters and what living in their universe was like. MORE, darnit!! While Constantine is fun and nice in its own right, I would've really liked to see it expanded to its potential. Oh well! At least there's the fantastic Rachel Weisz, so I can't complain further ;) Last words: I want to see it again! Maybe not buy the DVD but definitely rent it. Oh, and those rumors about an extra (albeit short) scene after the credits are true, so STAY through them!
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Very well done, with great special effects.
xBriarRose26 March 2005
I have to say, I went to see Constantine because Shia LaBeouf is one of my favourite actors. This may have made me biased before I even entered the cinema, but I thoroughly enjoyed this film anyway! The plot is a little hard to follow especially if you don't listen and watch carefully for the clues. It centers around John Constantine (Reeves) who helps "save the world" from demons. He's not the usual sort of superhero because he is very reluctant to fit into that kind of role. The supporting actors are very well cast, and Rachel Weisz deserves all the praise she gets for her part. Tilda Swinton as Gabriel portrays the angel perfectly as not quite male or female. The film presents interesting views about heaven, hell and death, it's very thought-provoking. In a way, Constantine reminded me of I,Robot because it has a male lead who meets a female lead, and also has LaBeouf as sidekick again. But other than that this was a good film, and I think I will buy or rent it on DVD when it comes out. Here's a tip: wait until the credits ends, there is an extra scene!
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Very Very Good
angieray7136726 July 2005
Gosh, people spend so much time bashing Keanu Reeves. This film is actually quite good and the plot is quite good. Great special effects, enough religious creepiness to make to think, and a lot of action. Not quite as good as The Phophecy but damn close. Don't trust Keanu haters. It wouldn't matter how grand a film was, if he's in it they will trash it. Just rent the flick and judge for yourself. Yes, it's dark, and yes Keanu is wooden in his dialogue at times, but the movie is fantastic to watch. For anyone who has ever doubted religion, spirits, and our place in the world with them, then this is the movie to see. Great supporting cast, starting with Shia LeBouf who I like more and more with each role he takes on.
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Fantastic atmosphere and cinematography ... Loved it!
Fizzwizz27 March 2005
Though slightly Neo-Esq Keanu does an excellent job of portraying an extremely strong character in what for me was an engrossing film.

The film worked so seamlessly its hard for me to disseminate it into pieces and give an appraisal of each so here is a brief bullet-point of why I thought it was so good.

Strong character played by Keanu, Excellent cinematography, A unique approach to an old story-line, Thoroughly engrossing

The negatives were Keanu was very Neo/Matrix like and his dialog with Lu at the end was a little unconvincing.

Watch this one!
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OK eye candy but it's a disgrace to the comic book.
kitormitsuug8 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Keanu Reeves plays the title character in this adaptation of the cult DC/Vertigo comic book called Hellblazer, and while the movie does have its merits, it's not very faithful to the source material that it came from. The movie stars Keanu Reeves as a gumshoe whose specialty is in dealing with the occult. He specialty draws the attention of a police detective played by Rachel Weisz, who asks for his help in her investigation of her twin sister's suicide. A suicide that she thinks that is more than it appears to be. In due time, they both will encounter what lies under the surface of their world which is inhabited by both the angels of heaven and the demons of the underworld who are both fighting their own war for the fate of mankind. The movie is shot beautifully in the way it tries to capture both of the landscapes of good and evil that lives in this film's setting and the special effects does the film justice in its interpretation of hell that looks like an apocalyptic version of downtown Los Angeles, which is the setting of this film by the way. Unfortunately, the script is so unfocused that it hurts what this film trying to accomplish and the dialog itself lacks conviction for the material itself. The climax of the film is a major letdown because it just takes all the serious aspects of the film and just tosses them out in favor of a brief Matrix like a gunfight that undercuts the movie's tone and an incoherent ending that leaves more questions than answers. I'm not as hard as a lot of people are on the acting abilities of Keanu Reeves and he does his role well but his performance lacked something here in this film and it felt more phone in than genuine. Rachel Weisz on the other hand delivers a strong and moving performance that does deliver the goods but you will end up thinking that she is giving more to the film that it deserves because her performance is way too good for this movie. She's so good in fact that if the people who made this film wanted to make a faithful adaptation of the Hellblazer comic book, they could have cast her in the role of Kitt, Constantine's one true love. Now being a casual reader of the comic of whom this film is based on, the character of John Constantine is not well represented in this film and the script makes him look like a shill who wants to redemption which is the polar opposite of who the character is in the comic book who only served himself. The character also had a slick side to him that gave you the impression that he knew more than he let on while the character in the movie is flying by the seat of his pants during the whole film. Plus he relied on his wits to defeat his enemies while the character in the movie has a gadget man who makes him weapons (The brass knuckles scene in the movie is a joke because the John Constantine of the comic book can't handle himself well in a fight). The cancer subplot in the film only serves as a footnote while in the comic book, it had more of an impact and certain characters who show up in the film are just watered down versions of their comic counterparts. The most offensive of these characters is Chaz, who is John Constantine's best friend (and is a grown man with kids) but he is reduced to a street kid who is basically a lap dog for Constantine to pick on. The only character in the film that closely resembles the comic book is Papa Midnight, who's really more of an adversary in the comic than the friend he is in the movie. Judging this movie on it's own merits, It's a passable popcorn movie that has a better than deserved performance by Rachel Weisz. Judging the movie as an adaptation of the comic book, it's a letdown.
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Angels and the Cosmic battle for Souls
thinker169125 July 2005
The Film Constantine, directed by Francis Lawrence, written by Kevin Brodbin and staring Keanu Reeves has only been out a short while and already has garnered enough acclaim to rank itself as a modern classic. The exciting, action loaded film follows the continuing saga of dark soul John Constantine, demon hunter. Punished by God to wonder the streets of Earth, for an attempted suicide, he now must 'earn' his way back into the grace of the almighty. To do this, he must hunt down and 'excorcise' every sort of demonic beast that plague's mankind. Aiding him are a host of penitent souls who have sinned and wish to redeem themselves. To make matters worse, is the Archangel Gabriel who want to step up the 'final' conflict and match powers with Lucifer (Peter Stormare) himself. Caught in-between their cosmic battle is Constantine, who must atone for his sin with self-sacrifice and brute power over the army of the dammed. Extremely good film and exciting from beginning to end. ***
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Loved It!
Angela_Ray7136712 May 2006
I loved this film. I thought the special effects were amazing, thought the plot was amazing and thought all the actors involved did a great job. Of course there are a lot of comments that talk about Keanu Reeves acting abilities, but I think he did a grand job. The character Gabriel in this film is so intriguing. I was a little disappointed with Gavin's role as Balthazar. His role could have been expanded a bit. But all in all eerie, and definitely interesting. People who bash Keanu Reeves are more upset with the fact that he gets paid $30 million a picture even when the film isn't so great! But this one is great. I own it and everyone I have shown it to has absolutely loved it.
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Great movie
guynaba15 June 2009
This is certainly one of the best religion/thriller movie ever. It's so full of creations and alternative stories based in reality and in the Bible, that you have the sensation it's an alternative world. Maybe that's why so many people hate Constantine, and many that love - like me.

For sure, this is the best movie Keanu Reeves has ever made. He suited perfectly in the character (John Constantine), a sarcastic, black-humored and supernatural detective that fights against demons to receive his salvation from hell. Rachel Weisz is also very convincing as the sensitive policewoman Angela Dodson and works very well with Keanu.

People that don't like to see supernatural stuff or alternative imaginative stories probably will hate it. But all the rest certainly will enjoy a lot Constantine.
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The Kind Of Film They Make You Watch In Hell
jonathan-1789 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
3/9/05 As I sat staring at the screen, watching "Constantine", come to an end, I couldn't help but smile. Not because the film was just that brilliant, but rather it was that big of a train wreck.

This seems to be the time of year in which every studio agrees with one another to release their worst movies. So, I've spent the first two months of 2005 catching up on some of the Oscar nominees and other good films I missed from 2004. I passed up an advanced screening of "Robots" to go see "Constantine" at the theater with some friends. Sadly, this was probably the best choice out of everything playing at the theater, with the exception of "Million Dollar Baby".

Before I go into more detail on my opinions, let me preface by saying that I have never read the "Hellblazer" comic book(s) that this movie was supposedly based on. This review is a critique on the acting, directing, screenplay, etc of the movie, and it likely doesn't apply to the comic.

I'm not sure where to begin in recounting the plot of "Constantine". Keanu Reeves plays John Constantine, a combination supernatural detective and exorcist who is on the verge of dying of lung cancer from smoking, and is a complete jerk to anyone he meets. Rachel Weisz plays Angela Dodson, a detective who wants answers as to why her twin sister committed suicide. Through Constantine, she learns the truth about Heaven and Hell; Demons and Angels live on Earth in alternate space/time planes, always trying to win our souls. There's also shots mixed in every now and then of a random Hispanic guy wandering around Mexico and California with a staff that makes him invincible. This has something to do with the story, I think. Together they fight evil in a world where nothing ever makes any sense, and where Satan is a good guy who would never want to upset the balance of good and evil. It all comes tightly wrapped up with cliché after cliché and dialog so cheesy you will laugh out loud, and every now and then it transforms into "The Matrix".

Keanu Reeves is Keanu Reeves. We all know him, and we're all familiar with the standard roles he is cast in. This one is no different. He takes an unlikeable character and makes him even worse by being as dull and unemotional as possible. Tilda Swinton as Gabriel is just plain awkward, and the only somewhat redeeming bit of acting in this film is Rachel Weisz, who really isn't half bad.

This was Francis Lawrence's first try at directing a movie, and you'll know when you watch it. The root word in 'director' of course is 'direction', which was something this movie had none of. It was really no different than watching one of Lawrence's Britney Spears or Will Smith videos; just a bunch of random images thrown together. Characters came and went with no explanation of their relevance to the film, and there was no flow at all.

Visually, they got some things right. But how hard is that in these days when the right amount of money can make any effect you want? The depictions of Hell, Heaven, Demons, and Angels were good, and I suppose the Matrix style stuff was done well, even if it was unnecessary.

Overall, "Constantine" had a good concept. Appeal to those who want intelligence in a movie with religious theories and random babble. Appeal to those who want mindless action and dazzling effects by giving them just that. But in the end, there wasn't enough action to keep that segment of the audience's attention, and the depth the film supposedly had never showed up. It will have you trying hard to figure it all out, but I'm not so sure even the film's creators ever figured it out. There are certainly many movie out now that you could go see that would be much worse than "Constantine", but much of this film was nothing short of a disaster.

C- 5/10
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A major disappointment.
crisuslan8 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I saw a press screening of Constantine a few nights ago in a screening room up here in Seattle and I have to say that the movie was a letdown. It tries to be a mixture of horror, suspends and action but it just ends up very incoherent in it's narrative and you just lose patience with it after while. Keanu Reeves is an OK actor but he's just going through the motions here and it shows by the glaring similarities it has to his work in the Matrix movies. It leaves you wondering on why he's even in the film in the first place because his character really adds nothing to the story other than the ridiculous climax where he turns the movie into a poor Matrix montage with him shooting up a hospital full of demons. Rachel Weisz on the other hand manages to give a very strong and realistic performance that could been used in a much better and serious film and Djmon Hounsou is decent in a glorified cameo that really does not use his talents to it's full potential. Shia LaBeouf is doing his lame and very unfunny slapstick to the hill and Satan himself looked like he just came from a lounge act in Vegas. The worse served by all of this is Tilda Swinton, who perhaps has the worse character in the entire film. A character that is not in the movie much in the first place but has a significant role in derailing the last act of the film with a plot twist that absolutely makes no sense at all. I do have to say that the special effects were pretty good and the hell dimension had it's charm but nether of them can compensate for a bad script that not only has some really bad dialog that makes some of the scenes in the film unintentional funny but has a plot development that makes no sense what so ever and has nothing to do with the story as a whole.

My heart goes out to Rachel Weisz, Djmon Hounsou and to a lesser degree Tilda Swinton for at least giving good performances that respect the audience but regardless of their grand efforts, this still remains a Keanu Reeves film and it's not very good.
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See it for the good and game performances of Rachel Weisz and Djion Hounsou but the film is more and less a rip off of the Prophecy films.
tigerandpoo8 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Keanu Reeves plays John Constantine, a PI who dabbles in the supernatural. He does routine exorcisms and fights demons that try to enter our world. His reputation draws the attention of detective Angela Dodson, who is played by Rachel Weisz. She needs his help to solve the apparent suicide of her twin sister Isabell, who jump to her death while she was locked up in a mental hospital. Angela does not believe her sister would commit such an act because of their religious upbringing and thinks that there is something more going on than it seems. So like the rabbit from Alice in wonderland. Reeves takes the Detective on a wild ride though his seedy world. Which involves a man made up of bugs, demons that fly at you, an annoying smart mouth street kid and angels with secrets of their own. Which in fact all leads to a climax that involves the devil himself and a battle for a lost soul. If you kind of recognize the story, you would be right on the money. It's lifted from The Prophecy films, which stared Christopher Walken. Only this time with a bigger budget and a better cast at its disposal. (With out the great Christopher Walken himself of course but his character is in the film, HINT, HINT) The acting is good, particularly because it has a game cast willing to go with what ever is going on with the script. Unfortunately, not everyone gives their best and it leaves the others to pick up the slack for them. Keanu Reeves is one of the actors who don't really give a hundred percent with his performance. Yes, I know I'm talking about Keanu Reeves of all people but he's not his usual self in this movie. His character is basically a miserable human being during the course of the entire film and you don't understand on why would anyone even want to be bothered with him. Yes, he's the lead and he is playing a kind of rouge heroic character but he does not even have a likable side to him. You end up wishing that your able to know the other characters more than you get to know him. One of those characters is The police Detective played by Rachel Weisz, who not only bring a sense of steely determination and strong will to the role but also is a much better lead character than Keanu is. You actually care about her while you really don't care about Constantine or what is happen inside of him. The other interesting character in the film is Papa Midnight who is played by Djimon Hounsou, a demon hunter like Constantine himself but with a lot more charm and personally. I would have rather seen more of him than Keanu Reeves as well but he's only in the film for about fifteen minutes. Chaz, the street kid is just too annoying for words and is really only there to (I will not spoiled that for you, you have to see it to believe it). There is an Angel/ Demon called Balthazar, who is actually a real hoot and does give the film a real presence of evil in it. The angel Gabriel is in it as well but if you have seen the Prophecy films, you know what purpose he/she has (Big hint, Christopher Walken) and the devil himself comes in the last ten minutes of the film to cause a little havoc for our heroes.

The movie has it's up and downs in other aspects as well. The script in a sense does not know what it wants to be from time to time and the dialog is not really well done in some of the scenes in the film. The cinematography is very well done in portraying the grim aspects of the Los Angeles but it's too dark in some places and it seems to me that it was done that way in order to hide some of the special effects, which are not too shabby but not as well done as one might have hoped.

All in all, a decent film saved by the game performances of Weisz, Hounsou and the guy from Bush but you will get a sense of seeing this film before.
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Even with the strong and complex performance of Rachel Weisz, Keanu still finds a way to suck the life out of the movie.
cryingandlovingagain11 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Decent yet very incoherent adaptation of the Hellblazer comic lacks that book's sense of humor and complexity and goes for the gusto in stupidity with a very bad performance by Keanu Reeves, who manages to make his last two matrix films look like masterpieces compared to his work here. He not only sucks the life out of every scene he's in but manages to bring the film down to his level of acting in certain scenes. Director Frances Lawrence tries hard but lacks focus in certain scenes and lacks a sense of continually with his work. He steals from the best but lacks the substance to pull it off. The only redeeming things this movie has to offer is the performance of Rachel Weisz, who manages to give a strong, complex and moving performance despite the fact that the movie is not worthy of it. I would have liked to have learn more about her character and her relationship with her sister, which would have been a much better movie than this film was if they just could have based the film around her character instead of John Constantine. Djmon Hounsou, who was so great in the film " In America" only has a bit part here and he does well with it but I would have rather had him play a much bigger role than he was allowed to play in this film. Peter Stormare, who was so great in the movies "Birth" and "Chocolat", gives quite an unusual take of the devil. Unfortunately, he's not in the movie very much at all. The special effects are good but the way hell is represented here is more a variation of the sets that was used in the film than something completely original. It's a decent film if you're in the mood for this kind of movie but I you will end up thinking that it could have been better once it's over.
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Thumbs up to Weisz, Hounsou, and Stormare for giving their best efforts to this movie but thumbs down to Keanu and the rest.
lexxaflex10 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this film a few nights ago here in Albany and in have to say that I was disappointed with it. The special effects are terrific but the story needed a lot more work and Keanu Reeves looked like he was sleepwalking during the entire film, and to say that he was miscast in the role is an understatement. The character of Angela played by the wonderful Rachel Weisz is actually a much better character than Keanu's and would have been a better lead as well if you had people who really cared about what they were doing in this film and Djmon Hounsou is also very good as Papa Midnight and I found his character also more integral to the story than Keanu's. At least you knew where he was coming from and he had a more lively personality than the bored stiff composure of Keanu's John Constantine and Peter Stormare gives a lively yet somewhat campy turn as Satan himself. The ending is OK but the revelation concerning a character is not well done because of the fact that we only see that character for about one scene during the course of the whole film and then suddenly you're suppose to believe that the character was a major player, which in fact the film really does not explain at all towards the end.

Thumbs up to Rachel Weisz, Djmon Hounsou, and Peter Stormare for giving their best efforts to this movie but thumbs down to the lazy acting of Keanu Reeves and to the movie itself for not trying to be better than what was on the script.
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Weisz and Hounsou do well with what they got but the film is a major letdown
mrcrowjuction1 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Keanu Reeves plays John Constantine, a cross between Same Spade and Repairman Jack from the F. Paul Wilson novels. He deals with all kinds of supernatural occurrences all around Los Angeles. He builds a kind of reputation that is only heard in whispers and rumors and he's quite known for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Enter Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) who needs his help with the mysterious suicide of her twin sister who jump off the roof of the mental hospital she was staying in. She believes that there is more to it than it seems and wants Constantine to help her figure it out. So they both embark on a investigation that includes half breed demons strait out of episodes of Buffy and Angel, angels that look way too asexual for words and the devil himself, who looks like he just got back from gambling trip in Atlantic City. Now if you think that I'm being a tad over the top in my plot summery, think again. I'm actually being way too kind. Now it's very hard to start off with the good parts of the film with out addressing the very bad parts of it first and that's Keanu Reeves himself. I do think that he's a good actor with some promise but he's miscast in this role as a hardboiled and cynical private eye with supernatural connections and his sour face demeanor does not help him out with his character at all. There is a subplot that involves that his heath adds nothing to the overall story at all and his character borders between self important idiot to whiney bastard that cries to god when he does not get his way. His transformation into his Neo persona during the last act of the film takes away a lot from what the movie was supposed to be all about and just turns it into a sad parody of itself. The screenplay feels like a hack job in some places and some characters don't really serve a purpose at all other than to be killed off or to just be a part of the scenery. Some character don't really need to be in the movie at all like the character of Chaz played by Shia LaBeouf, who really adds nothing to the movie other than to be a really bad side kick to our sour faced hero and the angel Gabriel who is played by Tilda Swinton, who for starters is only in the film for about ten minutes and really adds nothing to it other than to have a really bad scene with John Constantine that will make you sit up and take notice on how bad this film really is and the last act, where her character is a part of one of the most stupid plot revelations in recent movies (it involves the devil, who is dressed like a pool hall gambler from Atlantic City.) I don't hold Tilda Swinton, responsible for this (she is a very good actress) as much as I hold the screenwriters who wrote her role because we don't really know enough about her character to be surprise with the sudden turn around that she does in the last act of the film. The screenplay itself feels like it does not know what it wants to be from time to time, switching it's tone from dark horror drama to dumb down action movie in the last fifteen minutes of the film and some of the dialog is so badly written that you are grinning your teeth to the bone when you hear it. While there are a lot of bad in this film, there are some bright spots that make the film somewhat bearable to sit though. The best of these is the performance of Rachel Weisz, which is literally holding this film together by a thin and dangling thread. She gives this movie something the script should have giving it and that something is called class. Her performance is gripping and soul searching and its what the film really should have been about if you had serious people behind scenes making it. Which is too bad because the movie would have worked much better as a standard supernatural thriller with just her character in it instead of the mind numbing mess that is presented to us here. Djmon Hounsou is great as well but he's not really in the movie much at all and his character is really just there for camp effect, not substance. The special effects are cool for what they are and they do have a visual impact but not even that is strong enough to make you forget how cheesy the film is after it ends.
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Rachel Weisz and Djmon Hounsou are great but not even they can't save this Keanu stinkfest.
valleyjerk6 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I was able to catch a look at this film a few weekend ago at a press screening here in Chicago. A friend of mine works for a free newspaper that is widely known in the Chicago area and invited me along to see it with him.

The movie starts off pretty good with a few good scenes of tension and drama that has some pretty nifty special effects thrown in but the special effects are few and far between and they don't get any better once the movie really starts up. Then the film does an about face after the second act and nose dives its way to a juvenile and over the top climax that contradicts the entire first half of the movie altogether. The ending makes no sense what so ever because it involves Satan of all people saving the day other than taken advantage on what was going on (Don't ask, you have to see it to believe It). That's just the tip of the iceberg of the inconsistencies this film has and don't get me started on the loose plot points that have no bearing to the film at all. The characters in the film are more and less the same characters you find in films of this nature and this problem is highlighted by the main character himself, who is more and less the character of Van Helsing with a suit on and an attitude problem. I think the script trying to make him look cool with his lack of authority and manners but it just ends up making him look like an ass instead. This could be just the way the character was written but I think it could just be Keanu Reeves himself with his dried and dreary way of acting, which can be found in all of his film. Ether way, the main character is not really interesting at all and is upstage by his co-stars Rachel Weisz and Djimon Hounsou, who bring more to their characters than the script does. Rachel Weisz plays Angela, the cop who is partnered with Keanu's character in solving her sister's death. Her performances is a lot richer and much more deeper than the actual script is and she gives this movie a real sense of dignity and heart that it really does not have. Djimon Hounsou plays Papa Midnight, who bring a cool zeal to a modern variation of the voodoo priest of the bad black exploitation films of yesterday. He brings a fun sense of bravado that should have been capitalizes on much more than it is here in this film. Unfortunately for the both of them and us the audience, they are working with a script that is so riddled with inconsistencies and badly written dialog that you just end up feeling sorry for them for even being this film in the first place. Both Weisz and Hounsou are about the only good things that come out of the entire film while the rest of the movie feels like it was rushed into production with out a clue on what direction the movie should have taken. The cinematography is taken from the grim movies of the last ten years (which mostly stolen their style from David Finchers grisly classic Seven) but does not take it as far as those films do because it also has a kind of neon lighted Matrix feel to it that betrays the dark sensibility and mood that it's trying to inhabit.

It's a good way to waste your time if you have nothing better to do with it but if you need to seek out a good movie, I suggest you rent something from the video store instead. Maybe a better film with Rachel Weisz and Djimon Hounsou in it that uses their talents in a much better way than this film does.
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