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Film reviews


Title: Constantine

Director: Francis Lawrence

Stars: Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz, et al.

Reviewer: Matt Eccles

Rating (out of 10): 5


After the deserved success of such sublimely realised comic book adaptations as the Spider-Man and X-Men films, there has been an inevitable slew of 2-D characters transposed for the screen. Their profiles have tended to be proportional to the apparent efforts thrown into the quality of their cinematic vehicles, and Constantine, based on the anti-hero from the Hellblazer comics, veers little from this trend.

The premise is interesting enough: John Constantine (Keanu Reeves) is an stolid, chain-smoking exorcist dying of cancer. He has the ability to perceive “half-breeds” and send them to hell, which might just gain him a passage to heaven. However, he becomes embroiled in a detective’s investigation into the death of her twin sister, which seems to have the unprecedented stamp of demons entering the earthly plane.

Music video director Francis Lawrence’s debut feature has some striking visual flourishes and is almost never less than entertaining, but his film is let down by flat performances and a script which, despite showing early promise, sways into incoherence. The theological and philosophical overtones that could have given the movie more cerebral weight are never thoughtfully addressed, rendering an unremarkable climax which arrives just before it all starts to get very silly indeed.

Regrettably, then, Constantine is a missed opportunity, a shame given its obvious rich potential

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