Reviews Logo
SearchHomeContents PageSite Map
Constantine (**)
Directed by Francis Lawrence
Written by Kevin Brodbin and Frank Cappello based on characters and situations created by Alan Moore, Jamie Delano, and Garth Ennis
Principal Cast
Keanu Reeves -- John Constantine
Rachel Weisz -- Angela Dodson/Isabel Dodson
Shia LaBeouf -- Chas Chandler
Djimon Hounsou -- Midnite
Max Baker -- Beeman
Pruitt Taylor Vince -- Father Hennessy
Gavin Rossdale -- Balthazar
Tilda Swinton -- Gabriel
Peter Stormare -- Satan
Ratings are based on Rick's four star system.
One star - the commercials are more entertaining than the viewing.
Two stars - watch if you have nothing better to do.
Three stars - good solid entertainment.
Four stars - you never dreamed viewing could be this good.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

Constantine is not bad, but it isn't all that good, either. Keanu Reeves is an OK choice to play Constantine, because his one trick -- to play a role without actually doing any acting -- makes Constantine seem cool. Once they signed Reeves, thank god they did not dye his hair blond or ask him to attempt a Brit accent. I do not fault the film on the grounds that most fans have -- that they totally changed the character. Given that Reeves is the star, you really do not want him to try to act.

I liked the opening few minutes, which introduce a McGuffin which is promptly forgotten about until the very end. I liked the rubber duckie. I liked the angel. I kinda liked the devil, except that he's about as menacing as Sid Caesar. Aside from that, you saw all the best special-effects in the preview. The plot of the movie doesn't really hold together -- there is no sense that things are moving from here to there with anything resembling rhyme or reason. And so all you get is a series of more or less amusing incidents.

I do find it a little frightening that a lot of the discussion boards are taking the theology of the movie seriously -- the writers obviously didn't. But this whole suicide thing is a hot topic now, in part because of another movie, which shall here remain nameless. Those of you who have absolutely no interest in religion can skip this next bit.

According to the Bible, God decided whether you are saved or damned before the creation of the Earth. You can't be saved without faith. God gives some people the gift of faith, and withholds that gift from others. Who are you to criticize God for whom he chooses? You can't have faith unless He gives it to you. There is nothing you can do to "earn" the gift of faith. We are all miserable sinners. I'm not just making this stuff up. This is standard Christian theology.

spoiler warning

So, a failed suicide attempt can't send Constantine to hell, and (spoiler) being willing to sacrifice himself for the girl (whom he has just met!) isn't going to buy his way into heaven. The Catholic church makes a big fuss about suicide, and the Protestant churches are picking up on the subject, because they love to tell other people what to do, but the Bible never mentions the subject, not once. That's how important God considers suicide, if you believe the Bible is the word of God. Some people on the boards are quoting the Ten Commandments as a prohibition against suicide, but everybody cherry picks the commandments. Thou shalt not kill applies to abortion but not to capital punishment. It applies to suicide but not to killing people in war. And so on.

It scares the shit out of me that someday I may be lying in a hospital bed in intolerable pain in the final weeks of my life, and some self-appointed Christian busybody may force me to end my days in unspeakable agony because he knows just a little bit better than God's own word what God really wants.

Do stay for the credit cookie.

Copyright © 2005 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon.

SearchContents PageSite MapContact UsCopyright

If you find any errors, typos or other stuff worth mentioning, please send it to
Copyright © 1996-2014 SF Site All Rights Reserved Worldwide