Newest Reviews
Wu Kong
Kindred, The
Death of Stalin, The
Because of the Cats
Borsalino & Co.
Dragon Chronicles: The Maidens of Heavenly Mountains
Female Fight Club
Fateful Findings
Transformers: The Last Knight
Foreigner, The
Clones, The
Monster Hunt
Happy End
Ugly American, The
Ritual of Evil
Vigilante Diaries
Happy Death Day
You Can't Stop the Murders
Legend of the Mountain
Man: The Polluter
Wolf Warrior II
Journey to the Seventh Planet
Ghost Story, A
Lady in the Lake
Devil at Your Heels, The
Paddington 2
Two Jakes, The
Newest Articles
Sword Play: An Actor's Revenge vs Your Average Zatoichi Movie
Super Sleuths: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes on DVD
Stop That, It's Silly: The Ends of Monty Python
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
  Constantine To Hell In A HandbasketBuy this film here.
Year: 2005
Director: Francis Lawrence
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz, Shia LaBeouf, Djimon Hounsou, Max Baker, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Gavin Rossdale, Tilda Swinton, Peter Stormare, Jesse Ramirez
Genre: Horror, Action, Fantasy
Rating:  6 (from 3 votes)
Review: The Spear of Destiny was supposedly the Roman weapon that killed Christ on the cross, but it's whereabouts have been lost since the end of the Second World War. That is until a Mexican scavenger uncovers it in a ruined building in the middle of nowhere - picking it up, he walks purposefully away but suddenly a car smashes straight into him. This barely makes him pause, as he untangles himself from the wreckage and strides on towards Los Angeles, where exorcist John Constantine (Keanu Reeves) has been called to an apartment block. The reason for this is a young girl has been possessed by a demon, and Constantine is here to draw it out of her, which he does with the aid of a mirror. However, fate has bigger plans for the man, as he will soon find out...

When it was announced that Reeves would be playing the anti-hero Constantine, the air was filled with the wailing, gnashing of teeth and rending of garments of comic book fans, who would all tell you that Constantine was a British character and looked nothing like Keanu, who would obviously have the complex role tailored to his questionable talents. The comic's best idea is that Heaven and Hell, God and Satan were basically involved in a power struggle that was more to do with vanity than actually caring about the souls of us lowly humans, and Constantine was a man who exploited this situation and foiled the schemes of the angels and demons, often for his own benefit.

This incarnation of the character, scripted by Kevin Brodbin and Frank Cappello, sees him still chain smoking but here that's one of his personality traits rather than a little idiosyncrasy to give him colour. In fact the depth that years of comic issues lend are not to be found here, where Reeves seems to be doing a Clint Eastwood impersonation and conveying his haunted nature by frowning quite a bit. He's joined by the mysteriously significant Rachel Weisz, as police detective Angela whose twin sister Isabel has recently committed suicide. Or has she? Angela refuses to believe that this is true seeing as how Isabel was a devout Catholic and taking her own life would have sent her straight to hell.

Funnily enough this is something Constatine knows all about after he tried to take his own life himself some years before because he found the supernatural visions tormenting him too much to handle. He may have died for two minutes, but having been brought back to life he now is searching for a way to avoid going to Hell when he dies permanently, which may be happening quite soon as he has contracted terminal lung cancer from the chain smoking. So what will be the good deed that gets him in God's good books (but not THAT good book, obviously)? Could it be saving Angela from the forces of darkness?

Constantine doesn't have much luck with his friends, or rather, they don't have much luck with him, often turning up dead throughout the course of the film due to nasty causes. But with all this death and destruction frequently rendered through the medium of computer effects, the final impression is not one of higher forces battling for control over the real world, because none of it seems particularly real anyway. All those effects come across as pretty adornments, whether it be an demon fashioned from insects or a flaming interpretation of the underworld, and unlike The Exorcist or even The Omen, only serves to exist in a flashy vacuum of its own making. Compensations include Tilda Swinton as a self-serving Gabriel, but Peter Stormare's Lucifer is embarrassingly whimsical, and the ending leaves with more of a shrug than a world-shaking blast. Music by Klaus Badelt and Brian Tyler.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 3821 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Jason Cook
Paul Shrimpton
  Jony Clark
  The Elix


Last Updated: