Who wants to go to hell?
Constantine does not.
So he sends the audience.
Constantine seems like the script a pissed-drunk Keanu Reeves heard during his ‘Matrix’ hangover. The story about the demon-slayer who has to go to the very place he sent them all: Hell.
How he tries to win his place back in heaven is what the rest of this good versus evil theology-meets-science fiction-meets-KeanuReeves-meets-special effects tale is all about.
The film at best, works as a 121 minute-long anti-cigarette-smoking commercial. Keanu Reeves smokes, gets lung cancer and has to go to hell. He fights his demons, and finally turns to gum before the credits roll up.
Considering the style with which Constantine keeps lighting a cigarette at the drop of his last one, I doubt if it will even work as an anti-smoking campaign. Somuch, that the Keanu introduction scene with the bottom-angle slow motion shot of the cigarette falling, made me think Superstar Rajnikant was next gonna get out of the car.
Next, Keanu, with his widely-known special (Freeze Frame: Special isused here as a more sensitive option to the word: challenged) acting skills, goes up the building to whisper his name to the demon possessing a victim: Constantine, John Constantine, almost like Superstar would say ‘Malai da, Annamalai.’ Or like Pierce Brosnanwould say: Bond, James Bond.
So what should I do, Keanu must have asked. And music video maker turned debutant director Francis Lawrence probably replied: “Just the usual. First, the blank straight look, then light a cigarette, we’ll get you a really cool lighter, take a puff, say your lines, drop the cigarette, walk off. In the crisis scenes, just give me your usual ‘What-the-hell-am-I-doing-in-this-movie’ look. The rest, I’ll manage with special effects.”
Cool, replied Keanu, with a straight face, of course.
The result: The film has 420 shots of visual effects, apart from the splendid samples of Keanu’s acting prowess, that is.
Though based on Hellblazer comics, ‘Constantine,’ uses Los Angeles as the backdrop instead of the regular Brit setting in London.
If you are a Rachel Weisz fan, then you have twin reasons to watch the film. Yes, twin-sister beaten to death formula: one dies,other wants revenge. Anyway, looking at Rachel’s growing longer by the minute cleavage in the course of the film, I guess the director knew that the only way to make you sustain interest in the film would be do engage you with her Peeping Toms or Bobs with two O’s … twins that is. Also note, interesting ploys director uses to make Rachel show twins.
‘Constantine’ uses Christian references and biblical characters to sound profound but only ends up as a comic attempt at turning a kiddie comic book into a ‘Matrix’-like movie with its cornball punchlines.
Check out the scene when ‘Constantine’ shows Satan the finger on his way to heaven and how Satan in returns cures him of cancer. Primitive but effective … Naa, just kidding!
Still want to go to hell? If you have that brand of humour, you might actually enjoy the trip.