Movie of the Day – Constantine

So today I decided on another comic book movie for today’s post.  While not one of the more well known comics out there, to the general audience anyways, I do have a strong affinity for the Constantine/Hellblazer series.  The occult and paranormal subject matter is fascinating in that they detail a darker side of life that we typically avoid.  The Hellblazer series isn’t something for everyone, as it mixes religious mythology and horror elements into a tight story line.  The main character Constantine isn’t a likeable character as well as he tends to be a cynic and dick.  Constantine walks the line between heaven and hell on Earth while communicating with both sides.  He is meant to maintain the balance between angels and demons and the humans they try to influence.

So it’s interesting that they decided to make a movie over a character some people might not like and a subject matter that is more foreign to people unless their fake goths, Wicca or something.  First teaser trailers got me pretty pumped for the movie and like an intrepid comic book fan, I save my fanboyism until the movie is released.  The verdict…

Constantine (Keanu Reeves) is paranormal agent meant to keep the demons of hell from breaking into the human plane.  He performs exorcisms and reports to the angel Gabriel to tell of his deeds, in hopes that he will be allowed into heaven when the time comes.  Constantine runs into a detective name Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) who is seeking answer and help when her twin sister kills herself.  Angela is convinced that someone was out to get her sister and murdered her.  Constantine reluctantly agrees to help her, traveling to hell to search for her soul.  Constantine returns and finds out there is more to Angela’s sister and  her role in something bigger.  More and more demons and unnatural acts plagued Constantine and Angela, which leads Constantine to stumble upon a plan to bring the son of the devil to the mortal world.

The story line of Constantine might seem disjointed or complex, but the movie tries to tie a lot of the mythology of the character and rich world of characters and side stories.  The writers took elements from several story arcs of the Hellblazer series, mainly the Garth Ennis written Dangerous Habits story and several other story points from other series.  It’s weird that the directors wanted to include a lot of side characters that most of the audience wouldn’t know who they are.  Including Papa Midnight was interesting and really cool to see on screen, even if the character wasn’t used a lot.  I think the movie had too much back items included in the movie that just weighed it down ultimately.  While I love all the call backs and history and relationships between Beeman, Papa Midnight and Gabriel, it was just a lot to take in for one movie.

Now that I have my complaints out of the way, the looks and mood of the movie captured the feel of the comics.  Sure it could have been darker or scarier since it is a horror comic, sort of, but the way they portrayed the angels and demons of movie, the way hell looked when Constantine phased over, and the characterizations of Constantine and Midnight were awesome.  I enjoyed seeing an anti-hero for a change, one that only does what he does so that he can guarantee his entry to heaven.  He only looks out for himself but in the end saved people in the process.  He looks at as more collateral saving and they are a means for Constantine to get to his goal.  I like the change of pace we get from heroes that only live to serve and protect the public.  He is snarky, an ass, doesn’t care about people right away, and is only out for himself.  I wonder why I like him as a character….must be his charm I guess.

As far as comic book movies go, this isn’t the best nor the worst of the bunch.  I enjoyed the movie, enough so that I bought it on blu-ray and the visuals hold up nicely.  The movie also bring together my favorite “it’s that one guy” Peter Stormare playing the devil.  Just a lovely touch to a movie that, I think, was under appreciated in its theatrical run.  Sadly I think this is due to the fact that this isn’t a widely known comic book, but still really surprised that they made it.  It could have been better, but again it could have been a shit ton worse.  So take the good with the bad.

About Nick
I am just another blogger putting his thoughts into a website. My love is movies so most of my musings will be movie related. I work as an online marketer for an advertising company and when I am not earning a paycheck, I moonlight as a vigilante film blogger.

2 Responses to Movie of the Day – Constantine

  1. Frank Bishop says:

    Best part of the movie, when satan comes to visit. That part made the movie for me.

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