If you head on over to our super sexy Freeze Dried Movies you can read one of our reviews for Warner Bros. Constantine, which in now in theaters. We have also added two brand new reviews, which can be read inside. Based on the DC/Vertigo comic book Hellblazer, ‘Constantine’ stars Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz, Tilda Swinton, Gavin Rossdale, Djimon Hounsou, Shia LaBeouf and Peter Stormare. Read on for the new reviews…Had the following review for Warner Bros. CONSTANTINE submitted to me by: Bob G. Smithe
So yeah, Constantine shocked me; it was good, too good for a DC Comics flick. So I think with this and Batman Begins the DC curse is finally over, now hopefully they won’t **** up Green Lantern. This was a fantastic film and was very well done. John Constantine is essentially a supernatural INS agent, deporting demons back to hell in hopes to buy his way into heaven. He gets caught up in a major plot to usurp the rule of God and is trying to put a stop to it. That’s really all you need to know about the plot.
Keanu is Keanu as usual, while he handles the role well I couldn’t help think that there could have been someone better in the role of Constantine, someone a little older, which could pull off the world-weary attitude a bit better. But overall his performance was solid and enjoyable. Rachel Weiz puts in a very grounded performance as a set of psychic twins, Angela and Isabel Dodson. For the most part we only see her as Angela and I would have liked to have seen more of her as Isabel, but it’s not really that important to the plot, just something I’d have liked to have seen. Gavin Rosdale was surprisingly solid as Balthazar, he’s very smarmy and, well, so is Gavin Rosdale. Peter Stormare is perfect as Satan, very sleazy, almost like a used car salesman mixed with a pedophile, and is very entertaining to watch. Usually Satan plus screen time equals silly, not this time. The entire supporting cast is fun to watch and are very interesting characters, you feel for the characters when unfortunate things start befalling them.
The effects are top notch, it’s not that gory, but it’s not that necessary in this one. There are some great looking demons and an exorcism scene that shames anything seen in Exorcist the Beginning. As I write this, my favorite demon would have to be the one made entirely of insects, incredible! Hell looks very cool in this one, although there isn’t a lot of time spent there, it still looks impressive. The scares are very well done, real, not cheap, not forced, and very well shot. The entire film for that matter is excellently shot, no Matrix shots, no shakey cam, good stuff!
I can’t really do a comparison to the comics as I never really got into the whole Vertigo thing outside of Swamp Thing and the occasional Sandman book, but I think fans of Hellblazer will be pleased. Their only complaint will probably be mine, why Keanu? But it doesn’t ruin the movie; I thoroughly enjoyed it, even with Keanu. This was a fun movie, and a damn fine comic book movie, its right up there in my top 5 comic book films for the time being. I recommend seeing this one in the theater so you can take it all in.
REVIEW 2: Some Spoilers
The battle between Heaven and Hell has been chronicled numerous times on film. Ranging from the “Omen” and “Exorcist” series to the recent “Hellboy” and “End of Days”, Hollywood has never shied away from the struggle between good and evil and audiences have usually responded by attending in droves.
The latest entry into the genre is “Constantine”, which chronicles the exploits of supernatural detective John Constantine (Keanu Reeves), who is tasked to walk the line between good and evil to make sure that balance is maintained. John is a very troubled individual and his transactions with angels and demons have warped his views on life, humanity, and the afterlife.
Due to things in his past, John is trying to right his wrongs so he can gain a place in heaven, toward that end, the forces of Hell are trying there best to ensure that John is unable to gain redemption so they will be able to collect his soul, and repay him for all of their minions that he has vanquished over the years.
As if this was not bad enough, the rules between Heaven and Hell seem to be blurring as there is a growing demon presence on Earth which does not bode well for the future of humanity. It is learned that there is an agreement in place that there can be no direct contact, only influence to humans giving them the freedom to pick between good and evil and thus the fate of ones soul.
When a local detective named Angela (Rachael Weisz), contacts John, she is desperate to learn the truth behind her twin sister’s apparent suicide. Although skeptical at first, John soon learns that he and Angela have become players in a much larger game with the very fate of humanity dependant upon their actions.
Before long, John and Angela are facing off against legions of Hell’s minions as they attempt to save the soul of Angela’s sister and save humanity.
The film will be different things to many viewers as on one hand; some many take exception to the story and the bland tone and mannerisms of Reeves, as well as some of the films theological stances.
That being said, the film works, the action is good without being in your face as the computer generated effects enhance the film, complimenting the story and actors rather than upstaging them. The film has a murky look to it which sets the tone perfectly as this is not a happy movie filled with lovable people, instead it is a tail of people trying to do what is right and staying true to their beliefs though surrounded by temptations and numerous chances to stray.
Reeves plays Constantine as a man who is dedicated to what he does, but also shows us that he is unhappy with his life and past choices as they have forever haunted him. John is forced to do things he would rather not do as it is the only chance he has left at redemption and this has seen him deteriorate as he feels he is a tool that is being used with no end in sight.
Weisz does a good job with a very limited role as she is able to keep up with the action without falling prey to the damsel in distress mode that haunted her character in the “Mummy Films”. Singer Gavin Rossdale does a good job as the smarmy demon Balthazar who is a constant bane to John.
Despite the occasional hiccups with the plot and Reeves inability to show range or expressions, for the most part “Constantine” works and looks to be a good starting point for what is likely to be a franchise series for Warner Bros.
4 stars out of 5
Gareth Von Kallenbach