Constantine is gritty with a twisted theme

Crystal Hohenthaner

Crystal Hohenthaner

Starring Keanu Reeves, from the Matrix, and Rachel Weisz, from the Mummy, Constantine is not only a great melding of the two talents, but also a great marriage of the feel of both the Matrix and Mummy movies. The film evokes all of the dark angst and underlying struggles of the Matrix and at the same time touches all of the myth and mystery of the Mummy.

There’s also a gritty, smoky texture to this film that is tempered nicely by the movie’s use of water as a conduit. That’s definitely a nice choice considering the subject matter: spiritual warfare. While this type of battle is definitely not a new idea, new light is shed on the possibilities of such a fight by the film.

The Story

John Constantine can see the things of the spirit world that others can’t.

This puts him in a very interesting position as well as a really bad mood.

The chain-smoking spiritual channel has earned himself a trip to hell after he dies, which he is trying to avoid. He uses his gift of sight to try to get back into God’s good graces by vanquishing demons and other such stuff. Unfortunately, for him it isn’t working too well. John is accompanied by a few fun and quirky pals on his quest including: an exorcist in training who serves as chauffeur; a bug loving gadget geek who prepares and procures supernatural weapons for John; an otherworldly bartender; and a priest who can hear the few things John can’t see.

Even though this tale is already a bit twisted, there’s also a girl included.

Detective Angela Dodson is that twist. She wants John’s help to solve a case. Of course she becomes integral to the bigger picture.

The Pros

The special effects and imagery of the film are awesome to say that least.

Plus, if the idea of God and the devil fighting over humans is creepy to you and you want to get creeped out a little this is your show. All of the characters add nice elements to the tale and the whole story isn’t as far-fetched as you might think. Plus, I loved the fact that, although there were some unBiblical parts added to the whole God against Satan conflict, the basic Christian doctrine about humans entering heaven and hell wasn’t altered. The ideas of repentance, belief and absolution are very close to what my pastor, or a priest, might tell you.

The Cons

While basic Christianity isn’t messed with, a lot of other religious ideas are tweaked quite a bit. For example, the idea that there is a different Bible in hell and that it holds more information than the earthly tome.

Furthermore, many may not like the idea that John could be God’s instrument and still be such a cranky person.

The Bottom Line

I liked it quite a lot. The visual impact of the film is intense and the subject is emotional in a way that many people can relate to. The film did a good job of integrating truthful elements of belief into their fictional plot. Plus I applaud all of the supporting characters who were very well played, with an extra bravo to Gabriel, played by Tilda Swinton, and Balthazar, played by Gavin Rossdale. I predict a sequel and, personally, I’d love to see it.

Four and a half out of five stars