February 19, 2005
Went with friends to see Constantine last night. At first I thought this would be a movie about how one man maintained an empire by declaring a state religion (See Council of Nicaea). Then, after seeing the first preview I thought it was a sequel to The Devil's Advocate. Not by a longshot.
In this comic book turned big screen production, Keanu Reeves plays John Constantine, a premier demon hunter who has a few demons in his own closet. It seems that God and Lucifer made a bet one time, in the beginning, to see which one could harvest the most souls on earth. Angels and Demons could influence mankind from their respective lairs, but could not actively cross over into the world. Earth is, however, filled with half-angels and half-demons, the latter of which Constanine has made it his life's ambition to deport back to Hell when they break the rules. Rachel Weisz playes Angela Dobson (as well as her identical twin, Isabel), a cop with a bit of a talent of discovering the bad guys, more than she realizes.
The movie is rife with Catholic symbolism and supports so much Catholic dogma I wouldn't be surprised if it were partially funded by the Catholic church. Friends with whom I went to see the movie also believe that there were subconscious suggestions about homosexuality being evil. I didn't quite see it, but maybe I've become anesthetized to those subliminal suggestions. When Constantine descends into the demon bar, there is a pair of lesbians (I think it's a man and a woman) fondling each other, clearly of demonic nature... and when Lucifer himself appears he seems just a tad too desirous of Keanu's character. Sorry guys, no gay man would be caught dead wearing that much white or leave his face with that many blemishes, especially one with the resources that Lucifer has. The King of the Underworld is undoubtedly a hetero, and needs a date with Queer Eye for the Straight Incarnation of Evil.
Shia LaBeouf, with whom I've been impressed in other movies, leaves a lot to be desired as a Constantine's sidekick. I have the feeling scenes of Shia were cut, too. The boy is there in the beginning and at the end. SPOILER AHEAD--Read no further if you intend to be surprised: It's the first time I've seen Shia perform a death scene. Needs work.
Tilda Swinton is absolutely fabulous in yet another androgynous role as the Angel (half-Angel?) Gabriel. Tilda made her mark playing a man who wakes up one day in the Eighteenth Century as a woman in 1992's Orlando, so she's already done some impressive gender-fuck roles. A commendable part.
Another character I was charmed with was the overweight, drunken priest, Father Hennessy, played by Pruitt Taylor Vince. I recognized Vince from his psychotic, multiple personality serial killer role in Identity a couple of years ago. This fellow will be going places, and will certainly pick up many future dramatic parts calling for overweight, psychotic, serial killer, and mentally disabled alcoholics! Larry Drake, watch out!
The movie was entertaining, and worth the $8.50 it cost me to see it at Las Olas Riverwalk, even though it remained predictable and left no surprises. The special effects were awesome!
Posted by Bastique at February 19, 2005 5:10 PM
Thanks Cary, I was wondering about that film. I think I'll wait to rent it on DVD.
A. the A.
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Posted by: Alberto at December 26, 2005 11:12 PM