Born with a gift he didn’t want, the ability to clearly recognize the half-breed angels and demons that walk the earth in human skin, Constantine was driven to take his own life to escape the tormenting clarity of his vision. But he failed. Resuscitated against his will, he found himself cast back into the land of the living.

(2004) Film Review

This page was created on February 16, 2005
This page was last updated on March 12, 2005


Overview
Trailers, Photos
About this Film pdf
Spiritual Connections

Download Constantine Discussion Guide
and Bible Study
pdf


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MARK STOKES CONSTANTINE BLOG -HERE

CREDITS

Directed by Francis Lawrence
Comic book Hellblazer by Jamie Delano & Garth Ennis
Story by Kevin Brodbin
Screeplay by Kevin Brodbin and Frank A. Cappello

Cast (in credits order)
Keanu Reeves .... John Constantine
Rachel Weisz .... Angela Dodson/Isabel Dodson
Shia LaBeouf .... Chas Chandler
Djimon Hounsou .... Midnite
Max Baker .... Beeman
Pruitt Taylor Vince .... Father Hennessy
Gavin Rossdale .... Balthazar
Balthazar Tilda Swinton .... Gabriel
Peter Stormare .... Satan
Jesse Ramirez .... Scavenger
José Zúñiga .... Detective Weiss
Francis Guinan .... Father Garret
Larry Cedar .... Vermin Man
April Grace .... Dr. Leslie Archer
Suzanne Whang .... Mother
Johanna Trias .... Possessed Girl

Produced by
Gilbert Adler .... executive producer
Michael Aguilar .... executive producer
Lorenzo DiBonaventura .... producer
Akiva Goldsman .... producer
Cherylanne Martin .... associate producer
Josh McLaglen .... co-producer
Benjamin Melniker .... producer
Lauren Shuler Donner .... producer
Erwin Stoff .... producer
Michael E. Uslan .... producer
Lorenzo di Bonaventura .... producer

Original Music by Klaus Badelt and Brian Tyler
Cinematography by Philippe Rousselot
Film Editing by Wayne Wahrma


MPAA Rating: R (for violence and demonic images)
For rating reasons, go to FILMRATINGS.COM, and MPAA.ORG.
Parents, please refer to PARENTALGUIDE.ORG

TRAILERS AND CLIPS
Trailers, Photos
CD
Constantine (Score)
Brian Tyler, Klaus Badelt


CD Info
BOOK

Constantine
by John Shirley

Hidden from mortal eyes are the angels and demons that coexist with mankind...supernatural beings who seek to influence our lives for better and for worse. Amoral and irreverent renegade occultist and paranormal detective John Constantine is blessed and cursed with the ability to interact with this secret world. When Constantine teams up with skeptical L.A. policewoman Angela Dodson to solve the mysterious suicide of her twin sister, their investigation catapults them into a catastrophic series of otherworldly events -- even as the forces of Hell conspire against Constantine to claim his immortal soul....
Book Info

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SYNOPSIS
Click to enlargeJohn Constantine has been to hell and back.

Born with a gift he didn’t want, the ability to clearly recognize the half-breed angels and demons that walk the earth in human skin, Constantine (KEANU REEVES) was driven to take his own life to escape the tormenting clarity of his vision. But he failed. Resuscitated against his will, he found himself cast back into the land of the living. Now, marked as an attempted suicide with a temporary lease on life, he patrols the earthly border between heaven and hell, hoping in vain to earn his way to salvation by sending the devil’s foot soldiers back to the depths.

But Constantine is no saint. Disillusioned by the world around him and at odds with the one beyond, he’s a hard-drinking, hard-living bitter hero who scorns the very idea of heroism. Constantine will fight to save your soul but he doesn’t want your admiration or your thanks -- and certainly not your sympathy.

All he wants is a reprieve.

When a desperate but skeptical police detective (RACHEL WEISZ as Angela Dodson) enlists his help in solving the mysterious death of her beloved twin sister (also played by Weisz), 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.

Download Constantine Discussion Guide
and Bible Study
pdf

Go to Greg's BlogReview by
GREG WRIGHT

Senior Editor
Pastor and Tolkien Scholar.
GREG'S CONSTANTINE BLOG HERE

Click to enlargeOn one level, Constantine is a hybrid of Ghostbusters and Quentin Tarantino’s south-of-the-border horror flicks. My wife refers to director Francis Lawrence's novice effort as Exoralienatrixbusters, and, as with that tongue-in-cheek alternate title, Lawrence's influences aren’t hard to detect—particularly if you see many movies, or read comics and graphic novels similar to the one on which this movie is based.

GREG'S CONSTANTINE BLOG HERE

Download Constantine Discussion Guide
and Bible Study
pdf

Click to go to Maurice's Blog
Review by
MAURICE BROADDUS

MAURICE'S CONSTANTINE BLOG HERE

Click to enlargeWhen people think of horror, they typically think of one of two things: 1) demons, Satanism, and witchcraft; or 2) slasher-type films. If anyone questions how can horror possibly communicate the Gospel, from now on I’m only going to point to the movie Constantine and quote, “only in the face of horror do you find your noblest self.” This was easily the most theologically rich movies I have seen in a long time. This was like a tour of Dante’s Inferno, if Dante chain smoked.

“Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, ‘Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.’” Matthew 12:25

(Continue)

MAURICE'S CONSTANTINE BLOG HERE

Download Constantine Discussion Guide
and Bible Study
pdf

Click to go to Mike's Blog

Review by
MIKE FURCHES

Continued on Mike's blog

Click to enlargeJohn Constantine, (JC,) is a character that is almost made to a perfect fit for Keanu Reeves. I can’t recall him ever playing a character with more depth than JC. The complexity of the character is as complex as the themes addressed in the movie and without much thought; one could get lost and have issues with the movie Constantine. As for me, that was a whole other story.

MIKE FURCHES'S CONSTANTINE BLOG -HERE

Click to go to Kevin's Blog

Review by
KEVIN MILLER

Continued on Kevin's blog

Click to enlargePerhaps I was reading too much into the symbolic language of this film, but when the opening shot featured two squatters scrabbling around in the dusty ruins of a Mexican church, I had a feeling institutional Christianity was in for a rough ride. That feeling intensified when one of the squatters broke through the church’s rotting floor and discovered a religious relic wrapped in a Nazi flag, no less. And instead of bringing about healing or redemption, this relic—the so-called “Spear of Destiny” used to pierce Jesus’ side following his crucifixion—brought only death and destruction. In less than 60 seconds, the filmmakers had depicted the church as irrelevant, fascist, superstitious, and lethal. Where were they going to go from here?

Continued on Kevin's blog

Click to go to Mark's Blog

Review by MARK EZRA STOKES

Continued on Kevin's blog
Click to enlarge Christian thought emanates from dark film

Not long ago, I engaged in one of the most spiritual, God-affirming conversations I can recall with a non-Christian friend. We openly discussed spiritual warfare, God’s relationship with man and the need for a divine sacrifice to allow that relationship.

The catalyst? Constantine—a dark, R-rated film containing an abundance of violence, images of evil and a smattering of profanity.

The film stars Keanu Reeves as John Constantine (note his initials): a chain-smoking, black-trenchcoat-clad anti-hero who, despite his bitterness toward God, uses his gift of discernment to battle power-hungry demons.

Why, you may ask, is Constantine bitter? Well, apparently this gift of discernment had previously driven him to suicide, though he was expediently sent back to the world of the living. Because suicide is a cardinal sin in the Catholic tradition, Constantine thinks the only way he can avoid damnation is to battle the enemies of God. Essentially, Constantine is trying to earn his salvation before he dies of terminal lung cancer (The film does a great job as an anti-smoking campaign).

Detective Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) is in the same boat. Instead of trying to earn her own salvation, she’s trying to earn that of her twin sister. The twin (also played by Weisz) was recently condemned to Hell because her attempt at reprieve from demonic oppression led to her own suicide—one a bit more permanent than Constantine’s.

Click to enlargeCinematically, the film soars. Utilizing the latest in computerized effects and dark, gritty lighting, Constantine is set in an eerily believable world of darkness and misery.

With a cast rife with familiar supporting-actor faces, the film seems to take actors from their previously successful roles: Constantine is similar to Reeves’ role in The Matrix, Weisz plays a character similar to hers in The Mummy, Pruitt Taylor Vince’s priest character is a dead ringer for that wiggly-eyed freaky guy in Identity, and so on. Because of this cautious decision on the part of director Francis Lawrence, the actors’ portrayals are all good, but none are unique or memorable.

The characters themselves, however, are distinctive twists of Biblical figures. The archangel Gabriel (Tilda Swinton) is a legalistic hypocrite, jealous because God extends his grace and salvation to undeserving humans. Satan is a well-dressed, likeable guy with the tragic flaw of hubris. The various demon-possessed characters follow in the tradition of those in the New Testament and The Exorcist (mainly because an actual exorcist remained on set during much of the shoot).

Click to enlargeWhat’s most intriguing to me is the structure of Constantine. Though it starts out like a mindless action flick with senseless means of demon-busting (using large mirrors, screeching beetles, a keychain of special amulets, and a number of other not-quite-biblical Hollywood interpretations of the spiritual realm), Constantine moves into Catholic tradition, and finally into fundamental Christian theology.

Though the film begins with Deist assumptions about God’s “non-interference policy,” these assumptions are later questioned in a subtle, though powerfully spiritual ending that utilizes several levels of the Greek “deus ex machina” (rescue from a divine source).

Because of this structure, a mainstream audience is less guarded against the Christian concept of humanity’s need for salvation. Conversely, the Christian audience is able to find an increasing amount of spiritual truths in an otherwise non-connective film.

Constantine’s inability to connect with the audience in the typical sense comes from the attention it must spend to establish the conventions of John Constantine’s world. Filled with Latin-speaking demons, a voodoo priest charged with keeping spiritual balance and a psychic detective, Constantine’s cross-adorned environment is complex, to say the least.

Though this complexity blends different beliefs about the afterlife with various religious worldviews, it doesn’t go to the extent of The Matrix series, which strives for a universalistic blending of religions. Instead, Constantine looks at the occult and paranormal activity through the lens of Christian thought. Though not strict Christianity, this blend allows for incredible dialogue between the mature Christian and the non-Christian.

Spiritual maturity is key in viewing Constantine. Movies like this can really confuse children or new Christians. As with anything we put into our minds, it’s important that we have a firm grasp on what we believe before we can hope to get anything but spiritual insecurity out of such a cohesive blend of secular and divine.

Continued on Mark's blog

Continue:
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