Constantine 2005 movie

Constantine – Faithlessly struggling between light and darkness

In the eternal struggle between forces of light and darkness, sometimes a halfway hero comes out, like Constantine, a bizarre exorcist and paranormal warrior starring in this 2005 movie.

Playing him is the evergreen Keanu Reeves, an actor who has mastered his charisma in many action roles from the 1990s to now.

Constantine is perhaps one of the characters people remember least, although a sequel is already confirmed for the not-too-distant future that should refresh the audience’s memory.

However, all that may be aside, what is this movie about?

It all begins with angels from the heavenly realm and demons from hell, spread across the Earth as “half-breeds” trying to drag as many souls as possible to one side or the other of this endless war.

However, humans do not simply stand by. Numerous warriors with various psychic and mystical abilities tried to keep the balance, among whom the most famous was once John Constantine himself.

Today, sadly, John is at the end of his journey, terminally ill from the tons of cigarettes he smoked since he was 15 years old and so tormented by his power to the point of suicide.

Although surviving, the mortal sin he was guilty of remains unforgiven, so in sight of his impending death, he already has a place assured in hell.

As the last mission of his life, seeking to regain heaven’s favor, John tries to help Detective Angela Dodson figure out why his sister Isabel committed suicide, making the mention of Constantine’s name before she died.

In the eye of the storm of a coming apocalypse, Angela and John will have to contend with something extremely dangerous, seeking to break into our world unbeknownst to the Devil and God themselves.

Plenty of action/fantasy but little/nothing about horror

While I recommend Constantine as one of the best examples of pure entertainment movies in 2005, it is certainly not without flaws.

Directing it, we have a blockbuster expert like Francis Lawrence, who sometimes mixes the formula with the proper doses as with the Hunger Games saga, but at others, ends in disaster by ruthlessly crippling an immense opus like Richard Matheson‘s I Am Legend.

In this case, we’re somewhere in between but definitely on the good side of the sidewalk, walking more than decently with an amusing set of characters and situations taken from the Hellblazer comic strips.

At times, Lawrence perhaps becomes too carried away in wanting to be spectacular at all costs, even when there is no need, with an overdose of special effects for some scenes that could have been simpler and more effective.

Above everything, since it wants to go all out for action fantasy, it lacks that horror vein that we can only see in the excellent aesthetics of the various monsters, demons, and angels.

However, it’s definitely mission accomplished in keeping the audience thoroughly entertained, again mixing many familiar elements such as angels and demons assorted in exorcisms and esoteric magic of all kinds in many different and always exciting situations.

Equally compelling is the retro-flavor of cinematography by the good Philippe Rousselot, cold in the bright blues of the day and warmer and more passionate in the night scenes, as if the night is the ideal element in which Constantine lives in.

In short, I want to say that it could have been done better on the horror side (totally wasted in potential), but the mood is undoubtedly triumphant between a somewhat sacred and somewhat blasphemous adventure to the screen, not too good or evil to achieve maximum entertainment potential.

What a hell of a cast!

Fortunately, besides the generally pleasing dark atmosphere, we also have a well-chosen cast for this diverse ecosystem of characters.

Keanu Reeves embodies a sound version of Constantine, cynical and aloof in almost all dialogue and instead fierce and passionate when there is fighting by all means.

The action scenes are spectacular and entertaining, without needing to reach the extremes of the indestructible John Wick, except perhaps toward the ending where the good Keanu shoots a pack of demons he has first drenched in holy water.

Equally good and beautiful is Rachel Weisz, a British actress who often prefers roles a bit more serious and challenging, although she doesn’t disdain to entertain with movies for general audiences such as the hilarious The Mummy either.

Rachel and Keanu make an excellent buddy couple strolling through the supernatural, but with a hint of romance that never really comes to fruition.

I really liked Constantine’s patrol of sidekicks and friends, starting with Shia LaBeouf (an actor I wouldn’t say I like much) as his driver/apprentice or, again, Max Baker, who is the one finding the weapons and doing the research on sacred texts; all the way to Pruitt Taylor Vince, the former priest wandering around looking for potential cases to investigate.

Three characters revolve in the various scenes, alternating, giving excellent pacing and context, along with the always perfect Tilda Swinton as the hallucinated archangel Gabriel and the tough Djimon Hounsou as Papa Midnite, owner of the bar that is neutral territory for business between angels and demons.

Finally, amid all these characters and the bizarre locations where they confront each other, we certainly can’t forget the cool Lucifer dressed in white, played by the terrific Peter Stormare, who is the perfect exclamation point at the story’s conclusion.

It’s been a while since 2005 and maybe we had forgotten about this movie, so as soon as I read online about a possible sequel I immediately wanted to give good old Constantine a polish. What do you guys say? Are you excited for chapter two or could the story end as it was? Let me know in the comments, in the meantime all we can do is wait.

Constantine 2005 movie
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