Sunday, March 06, 2005

Movies: Constantine

So I finally watched Constantine last night, and I thought it was really good.  I know not everyone sees it that way, people have said that they found it boring, or that it was a bit too "all-over-the-place".  I have never read the DC/Vertigo comic Hellblazer that the movie is based on, but I had read about the books before watching the movie.  And after reading a couple of reviews, I knew not to expect a conventional action-horror movie (which is what I was expecting when I saw the trailer a few months ago).

The movie has certain interesting concepts — heaven and hell are two sides basically trying to control humanity.  However, angels and demons cannot cross into our plane.  There are half-breeds (some angel, some demon) among us who try to influence us to go to one side or the other.  Keanu Reeves is John Constantine, a guy who was born with a gift/curse — he could see these half-breeds as they were since he was a child.  After dying he spent some time in hell and returned to our plane, where he now works as a investigator and exorcist.  He is trying to buy his way into heaven as he knows that his soul is damned and that the devil wants him in hell.

Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) is a cop whose twin sister, Isabel, commits suicide.  She asks Constantine for help in finding out exactly why her sister — a Catholic — would do something like that.  A plot with demons attempting to cross over, the Spear of Destiny, and the Devil's son being born into the Earth follows, and it's quite an absorbing story.

I liked the way the filmmakers fleshed out Constantine's world.  Of course, the character is also unique and played well by Keanu Reeves.  Apparently in the comic books Constantine is blond haired and a Brit, something which was changed for the movie, though the essence of the character is retained (according to certain reviews that I've read).  The story is more well-developed than one would expect, which I think is because the screenwriters had a sufficient amount of story elements to work with, given the comic books.  However, I also thought that some of the characters (like Papa Midnite, Balthazar) were introduced without much of backstory.  A bit more explanation would have made a more comprehensive film, but I guess it would have become very long then.

That aside, I liked the dark mood that the director (Francis Lawrence, who has done several music videos) brought to the film.  It was stylish without being overly so, and the look suited the overall film very well.  The visual effects were very good indeed.  I also loved the music score (by Klaus Badelt and Brian Tyler) which was subtle and very effective at the same time.

I am going to watch it a second time because I'm sure that there are lots of little details that I'd have missed the first time around.  Probably tomorrow.


At 3:19 AM, Anonymous Mansi said...

You are mad!! You like everything!
Send me a list of ten movies (that I'd have heard of) that you haven'e liked... I bet you can't. :-)


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