Synopsis:Supernatural detective John Constantine helps a policewoman prove her sister's death was not a suicide, but something more.
Director Francis Lawrence (I am Legend (2007), The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (2014), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)) was one of the pioneers in bringing comic book characters to life when he directed Constantine (2005). Lawrence brought the John Constantine character to the big screen on an estimated $100 million dollar budget which saw a gross at the box office of about $75.5 million dollars.
Constantine is based on the John Constantine character from the Hellblazer comic series originally published by DC Comics and then by Vertigo Comics. There are a great many of great casting choices with Keanu Reeves (The Matrix (1999), Speed (1994), John Wick (2014), The Devil’s Advocate (1997)) playing supernatural detective John Constantine. Constantine travels to hell, faces Satan (Peter Stormare - Clown (2014), Bad Milo (2013)), meets the Arch Angel Gabriel (Tilda Swinton - Doctor Strange (2016), Snowpiercer (2013), Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)), and clashes with Balthazar (Gavin Rossdale). As well as staple characters Midnite (Djimon Hounsou - Gladiator (2000), Blood Diamond (2006), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), The Island (2005)) and Constantine assistant Chas Kramer (Shia LaBeouf). Constantine spirals into this mess of supernatural chaos to prove that a detective’s (Rachel Weisz - The Mummy (1999), The Mummy Returns (2001), The Fountain (2006)) sister (also played by Rachel Weisz) did not die of suicide but by supernatural reasons.
The first time I watched Constantine I was not privy to the story nor the characters. The film felt rushed and with too much going on at once with not enough time building up the crucial elements of the film. However, I then watched the short-lived Constantine TV series with Matt Ryan (CW’s Arrow, Torchwood, The Tudors) playing John Constantine that fleshed out the characters and the world a little better. After watching the series, I then watched Constantine again, and suddenly everything clicked the way it should have the first time. The film is great when you are a fan of the comic or even have seen the TV series. I feel like the writer or director wanted to put so much from the comics into the film and just did not have enough time to transition the viewer into this massive world fully. The first viewing I would give this film a high six, but now I give it a high eight because it brought so much to the table. The special effects were on a whole new level for that time and in some instances still hold up well even now. The performances by all the actors were astoundingly well done, not a fan of Rachel Weisz as a whole but she was above average. Have a Constantine marathon and start with the TV series and finish the Constantine movie, I watched it on Netflix recently.
About Constantine 2005
Original Title: Hellblazer, John Constantine: Hellblazer
Runtime: 121 minutes
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Drama, Fantasy
Total Avg. Votes: 280
Writers: Jamie Delano, Garth Ennis, Kevin Brodbin, Frank A. Cappello
Director: Francis Lawrence