Tuesday, 16 July 2013

God Only Knows!:- Constantine (2005)

Constantine is a 2005 supernatural horror flick based on the popular DC/Vertigo comic "Hellblazer".

Centred around the exploits of the demon hunter/exorcist John Constantine, the film tells the story of a plot by supernatural beings to bring about the end of the world or something along those lines (the story itself is actually based on a few different story arcs from the comic which have been amalgamated together to form a new but similar plot line).

Keanu Reeves, still basking in his post Matrix glory, stars as Constantine himself, bringing to the role his usual wooden performance style which oddly enough seems to fit this role somewhat well, being as that Constantine is a bit standoffish with anyone he meets and always operates according to his own agenda.

Shia LeBeouf provides some sidekick action in the form of Chas Kramer, and once again old Shia manages to play him in the exact same way he has played every other character he has ever been cast as, namely as a goofy pseudo-teenager with a bag full of wisecracks and over the top over reactions to things (but hey,the kids can relate to that!- KER-CHING!).

Tilda Swinton does her usual aloof performance in the role of Gabriel, an androgynous half demon/angel whose only real role in the plot is to basically be a complete asshole (and show the world her hideous bunions).

Rachel Weisz manages to cram in TWO roles in this film, firstly as Isabella, a devout catholic woman incarcerated in a mental hospital because she hears voices and sees things (SPOILER - she dies right at the beginning) and secondly as Angela, Isabelles twin sister and a hard nosed bible thumping cop who eventually ends up being both a love interest (That ones for the girls, cos you gots to make it a date movie) and a third leg in Constantines attempts to destroy all evil.

Yeah, its not sounding good thus far is it?, well, oddly enough, I do actually like this film, mainly because the story is quite entertaining once you get into it. There are other characters in the film, including a memorable and brilliantly acted appearance by Peter Stromare as Satan, but other than that all the secondary characters end up falling straight into the category of "exposition generators" or "cannon fodder" (mostly cannon fodder).

The plot itself is the usual "Good v Evil" type affair, but given the modern slant in which none of the characters fit into the usual "hero" or "villain" archetypes because as we all know, everyone has feels and wants to be hugged/get on better with their parents/wants to get laid etc...
Constantine spends the entire film trying to unravel a plot by a mysterious supernatural being who intends to bring about hell on earth by breaking "the rules" (an agreement set up between God and Satan which expressly forbid supernatural beings from direct interference in human affairs, you know, because he works in mysterious ways and all that shit) and directly influencing events which will lead to a doorway to hell being opened allowing the demon armies of hell to pour forth on to the earth and do horrid things to humans and so on.
Curiously enough, although Satan gets off his rotund red backside and makes an appearance in the plot, the almighty himself phones his contribution in (our God is an awesome God!...*sigh*, although apologists would probably say that as God is perfect, he refuses to break the rules of engagement, the theocractical arguments against that pertaining to this work of celluloid fiction are a discussion for another time).

So to sum up, Constantine is not very good on the first watch, as the intertwining plot lines can make for some difficulty in enjoyment, however on subsequent watches the film starts to grow on you, and not in a bad way because at heart is is nothing more than a simple but enjoyable enough action film with some religious elements thrown in to make the story more interesting and relatable.
One thing i will note of this film though, and this also applies to most films with religious overtones that are set in the modern age, is that they all seem to assume that Catholicism is the only interpretation of Christianity worth a damn...jus sayin' :)

I give it 7 out of 10 sacrificial lambs.


No comments:

Post a Comment