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Constantine (2005)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Francis Lawrence

Starring:
Keanu Reeves/Constantine
Rachel Weisz/Angela
Gavin Rossdale/Balthazar
Tilda Swinton/Gabriel
7 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Follow chain smoking and cynical paranormal Detective, John Constantine (Reeves) as he takes us through LA’s under belly where demons, angels, half breeds and Rachel Weisz’s splendid cleavage reside. Evil wants the earth but it will have to go through Constantine first! Good news is; he never runs out of cigarettes or cans of whoop-ass! YEEHAW!
THE LOWDOWN

Hell wants him. Heaven won't take him. Earth needs him.

I’ve never read or whacked off to the DC/Vertigo comic book Hellblazer on which Constantine is based on. So I came into this jamboree of CG with zero emotional baggage, ready, tanked up and able to have a good freaking time with it. So were my rocks, rocked-off or what? They rocked and they rolled baby! THEY ROCKED AND ROLLED!

Constantine was a kool as a corpse genre bending, piñata of supernatural, gumshoe fun! Armed with yummy horror overtones and a savvy film noir-ish mind-set, the flick offered up a sweeter than sweet cocktail of eye-popping and jaw-dropping amusement. I so got off on the vastness of the narrative at hand which made way to a mythology akin to The Prophecy on PCP, morbid happenings that screamed The Exorcist on acid and an investigation angle that put Chinatown to shame in its topsy-turvy, “what the vanilla is going on” demeanor. And its with a big stupid grin on my face that I report; that the heavy anchor to the relentless folly, the macabre assaults, the inventive “plane” traveling methods (fun stuff) and the unique demon anarchy (they got real creative in that respect) was without a doubt “Keanu f*cking Reeves” as an anti-hero that I loved to love; John Constantine.

He smokes like a chimney; he drinks like a man in need of another drink and he’s has jaded about life as one can be. Have I found my twin brother? Nope it’s just John Constantine, doing what I do everyday but with better clothes, a hotter babe on his side and more coin in his pocket. I couldn’t get enough of this numb badass! From his “whatever” take on life and people (I hear ya Const!), his kooler than “The Fonz” manner, his engrossing personal quest (trying to buy his way into heaven) to his deliciously dry sense of humor (wait till you see what he does on his way to heaven…lol), John Constantine swiftly had me at f*ck you! I want to see more of this El Duderino, that’s for damn sure! Tag to all that smoking slickness, a gloomy, yet groovy score, some truly novel action “set pieces” (the dragging through the high rise was one for the headstone), glorious visuals (loved the halt in time technique), a scene chewing Peter Stormare (who else) as Satan and a pulpy lipped Rachel Weiz looking as scrumptious as ever and you get one hell of a blazing ride. I haven’t had this much of a kick since that crack whore took a hit while using my face as a Lazy Boy. Yup, she was a doer all right and quite the keeper, much like this gripping show!

On the “boo this man” side of the aisles, the screenplay had way to much ground to cover in one sitting. I’m talking: the mythology, the back-story of the lead character, the side characters and the intricacies of the immediate threat! It did the best it could within the room it had but that didn’t change the fact that the story occasionally felt all over the place and that some angles weren’t pushed as far as they could’ve been (like the Bang Bang action). But hey, at least none of it was ever boring. I also could’ve easily gone without the 3 un-developed Stooges (the kid, the fat dude and the skinny prick); acting as Constantine’s sidekicks/comic relief. They didn’t bring much to the story or the entertainment value of the film. Lastly, although the CGI was mostly accomplished across the board, some of it did look a tad to video game-fake for me; hence lessening the impact of what was going on (Was that hell or the third level of DOOM?). NOTE: Not a big deal but it should be said; that Politically Correct last frame betrayed what the Constantine character was all about; it so made me groan. Politically Correctness sucks!

When the cigarette was butt out and a new one was lit; Constantine blessed me with two hours of compelling delight, provoking a horde of “WOWs”, “OUUUs” , “GIGGLEs” and “F*CK YEAHs” out of my yapper throughout. That’s exactly what I was hoping to get from this celluloid bastard and I was beyond peachy that I did! THANK YOU CONSTANTINE!
GORE
We get a couple of gruesome surprises, which were diminished in shock by the CG execution but were fun cheese none the less. A bashed in demon head, organs ripped out of ones body, blood, disintegrating demons that look like the Iron Maiden mascot (Eddie) and more that I won’t reveal in the name of not spoiling it for you guys.
ACTING
Keanu Reeves (Constantine) didn’t stretch much here but his usual semi flat delivery and vacuous facial expression worked wonders for the jaded and kool as a banana role. Dare I say that along with Ted from the Bill and Ted classics, Reeves was born to play this part? I said it; talk amongst yourselves. Rachel Weisz (Angela) was as competent as ever and let her big, fat and juicy lips gap the rest. Gavin Rossdale (Balthazar) looked as gay as a French horn…it worked for the part! Djimon Housoun (Midnite) rocked the graveyard as the enigmatic club owner! Tilda Swinton (Gabriel) and Peter Stormare (Satan) both had a hoot with their small yet flamboyant roles.
T & A
We get the yummyliscious Rachel Weisz in an at times wet and cleavage heavy white shirt. The ladies get Keanu in a wet white shirt. It should be said that I want to live in Rachel Weisz bra! Just forward my mail there and I’ll call it a life!
DIRECTING
For a music video director in his first feature, Francis Lawrence showed mucho maturity and a pleasant restraint. The fly visuals were there to serve the story as opposed to drowning it and Lawrence knew when to play it up (hold on to your balls when that happens) or give the tale the room it needed to breathe. Impressive debut! I expect big things for this dude!
SOUNDTRACK
Bryan Tyler did it again with a harmonious; bass inclined score that put the “Ks” in Kool and Kat.
BOTTOM LINE
Constantine resulted in being the more entertaining film of the year thus far; not that there's been much competition up to now. A compelling story, zany ideas, outrageous horror/action set pieces, a gnarly dry wittiness and an anti-hero who is now part of my “top pooch” list; this big, bad, hypnotic trip had all the makings of a potentially new and exciting franchise! Sure the script wandered a tad too much, the CGI was randomly too CG and Constantine’s crew could’ve been stripped down to two (him and the babe) but on the whole, I had an LA Riot with this one! Break them windows, loot some stores, blow up parked cars and bang hookers for a five finger discount, Constantine is here to stay! BRING ON THAT SEQUEL OR/AND THE VIDEO GAME!
BULL'S EYE
Tarsem Singh (The Cell) was initially attached to direct with Nicolas Cage in the lead.

In the comic "Hellblazer", John Constantine is English from Liverpool and his appearance was inspired by the singer Sting.

John Constantine was created by Alan Moore.

Francis Lawrence has shot music video for the bore Will Smith and the tramp Britney Spears.

Gavin Rossdale is the singer of the band BUSH and is nailing that No Doubt broad.

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