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Constantine is a 2005 American occult detective film directed by Francis Lawrence (in his directorial debut) and starring Keanu Reeves as John Constantine. Rachel Weisz, Shia LaBeouf, Tilda Swinton, Pruitt Taylor Vince, and Djimon Hounsou co-star. With a screenplay by Kevin Brodbin and Frank Cappello, the film is based on DC Comics' Hellblazer comic book, with plot elements taken from the "Dangerous Habits" story arc (issues #41–46) and the "Original Sins" story arc. The film portrays John Constantine as a cynic with the ability to perceive and communicate with half-angels and half-demons in their true form. He seeks salvation from eternal damnation in Hell for a suicide attempt in his youth. Constantine exorcises demons back to Hell to earn favor with Heaven but has become weary over time. With terminal lung cancer, he helps a troubled police detective learn the truth about her sister's death while simultaneously unraveling a much larger and darker plot.

The character of John Constantine was introduced by comic book writer/creator Alan Moore while writing the Swamp Thing, first appearing there in June 1985.[5] In 1988, the character of John Constantine was given his own comic book title, Hellblazer, published by DC Comics. The "Dangerous Habits" story arc was written by Garth Ennis in 1991.[6]

Constantine was released in the United States and Canada on February 18, 2005, and in Hong Kong on February 8, 2005. The film grossed $230.9 million worldwide from a $100 million budget.[4]

Plot

God and Lucifer have a standing wager for mankind's souls. Angels and demons are forbidden to manifest on Earth; instead, their hybrid offspring influence humans.

In a Mexican countryside, a scavenger named Manuel finds a spearhead wrapped in a Nazi flag at the ruins of an old church, which is later revealed as the Spear of Destiny. Manuel becomes possessed and travels to the United States.

John Constantine exorcises a Filipina girl possessed by a demon trying to break through to Earth, which should not be possible under the wager's rules. He meets with the androgynous half-angel being Gabriel. He asks Gabriel for a reprieve from his impending death from lung cancer. Gabriel declines, telling Constantine that he exorcises demons for selfish reasons and can not buy his way into Heaven.

After being assaulted by another demon, Constantine goes to Papa Midnite, a reputed witch doctor who runs a club serving as neutral ground where half-breeds do not have to conceal themselves. Midnite does not believe Constantine's claim of demons crossing over. Constantine leaves, after exchanging hostile words with half-demon Balthazar.

Elsewhere, a woman named Isabel Dodson commits suicide in a psychiatric hospital. Her twin sister, Detective Angela Dodson, refuses to believe that Isabel, a devout Roman Catholic, would kill herself. Watching security footage of Isabel's suicide, Angela hears her say Constantine's name. Angela finds Constantine and asks him to help investigate. After they are attacked by winged demons, which Constantine believes were targeting Angela, he agrees to help.

Constantine briefly transports himself to Hell through the possession of a familiar and sees Isabel damned to eternally relive her suicide. Constantine explains to Angela that he can see the true nature of the half-breeds. He attempted suicide to escape his visions but was saved by paramedics. For the sin of attempting to take his own life, his soul is condemned for Hell. The two examine Isabel's room in the hospital and find a clue pointing to a prophecy in the Satanic Bible that Lucifer's son, Mammon, will attempt to claim Earth as his own kingdom. To do so, Mammon requires both a powerful psychic and assistance from God.

Angela tells Constantine that Isabel, a clairvoyant and a psychic, was committed by her parents. Angela had the same gifts but suppressed it. At Angela's insistence, Constantine reawakens her psychic ability through a near death experience. She immediately finds a clue pinpointing Balthazar as an accomplice to the plot. Constantine interrogates Balthazar, who reveals that Mammon has the Spear, stained with the blood of Christ — the assistance from God. Angela, now the psychic in place of Isabel, is abducted by an invisible entity.

Constantine convinces Midnite that the demons are breaking the wager's rules. With Midnite's help, Constantine finds out how the Spear emerged and Angela's location. Constantine arms himself and goes to the hospital, accompanied by his driver and apprentice Chas Kramer. The two fight their way through an army of half-demons and exorcise Angela. Chas is killed by the invisible entity, which turns out to be Gabriel. Resenting God's favoritism towards humans, Gabriel plans to unleash Hell on Earth to weed out those deemed "unworthy" of God's love. Gabriel casts Constantine from the room and prepares to use the Spear to cut Mammon free from Angela.

Out of options, Constantine slits his wrists. As he bleeds out, Lucifer arrives to personally collect his soul. Constantine tells Lucifer of Mammon's plan to usurp him. Lucifer easily overpowers Gabriel, burns Gabriel's wings and banishes Mammon. In return for his help, Lucifer grants Constantine any wish. Constantine asks that Isabel be released to Heaven. Lucifer complies but realizes that he cannot take Constantine to Hell as a consequence. By selflessly sacrificing himself, Constantine is granted entry to Heaven. Infuriated, Lucifer heals Constantine's injuries and cures him of his lung cancer, hoping he will eventually damn himself again. Angela and Constantine depart, leaving the now human Gabriel. Sometime later, Constantine, now making an effort to quit smoking, entrusts the Spear to Angela and visits Chas' grave, where Chas appears in an angelic form and flies away.

Cast

  • Keanu Reeves as John Constantine, a chain-smoking cynic with the ability to perceive the true visage of half-angels and half-demons on the human plane. John is damned to Hell for attempting suicide—a mortal sin—and has terminal lung cancer.
  • Rachel Weisz as Angela Dodson, a troubled Los Angeles Police Department Detective investigating the suicide of her twin sister, Isabel (also portrayed by Weisz). Weisz also plays Mammon, the son of Lucifer who has no patience for his father's rule of Hell and uses Angela's body as a means of escaping Hell to rule over Earth himself.
  • Shia LaBeouf as Chas Kramer, John Constantine's driver and student. Chas has a strong interest in the occult and helps John whenever possible in order to gain knowledge and experience from him.
  • Tilda Swinton as Gabriel, a "half-breed" angel, depicted as looking androgynous, with a disdain for humanity who plots to set Mammon free from Hell to unleash demon kind on the Earth.

Pruitt Taylor Vince as Father Hennessy, an insomniac, alcoholic priest with the ability to communicate with the dead. He constantly drinks in order to "keep the voices out".

  • Djimon Hounsou as Papa Midnite, a former witch-doctor who once fought against Hell. After swearing an oath of neutrality—unless one side should tip the balance of power—he opened a nightclub to serve as neutral meeting ground for both sides of the war between Heaven and Hell.
  • Gavin Rossdale as Balthazar, a "half-breed" demon with a special penchant for, and personal history with, John Constantine.
  • Peter Stormare as Lucifer Morningstar, a fallen Archangel who is in a proxy war with God for the souls of all mankind. Lucifer loathes John Constantine with such vigor that his soul is the only one he would ever come to personally collect.
  • Max Baker as Beeman, a friend of John Constantine's with a liking for exotic materials and insects. He serves as both a supplier of holy objects and relayer of information to John.
  • Jesse Ramirez as Manuel, a scavenger and treasure hunter who finds the Spear in a church ruin and enters into a trance-like state which resurrects him after getting hit by a car.

Production

Soundtrack

Main article: Constantine (2005 soundtrack)

Release

Box office

Critical response

Home media

Main article: Constantine (video)

Other media

Novelization

Video game

Main article: Constantine (video game)

Sequel

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Constantine".. Retrieved on July 13, 2017.
  2. "CONSTANTINE (15)". (January 31, 2005). Retrieved on August 16, 2015.
  3. "Constantine (EN)". Lumiere. Retrieved on 12 July 2017.
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named mojo
  5. Markstein, Don. "Don Markstein's Toonopedia: John Constantine". Retrieved 2007-05-31
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named shock

External links

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