John Constantine is trying to save his soul by hunting down and “deporting” demons who intrude on human affairs when he stumbles across a psychic whom the son of The Devil intends to use to escape from Hell.
Keanu Reeves revisits the character of Neo as the chain smoking anti-hero of Constantine, a film that can be thought of as “The Matrixorcist”. It’s a comic book adaptation that blends religious mythology with superhero conceits and the format of Film Noir thrillers. Since the success of The X-Files this idea has been done a hundred times, but rarely so well; the plot is a lot more involving than most of this type of thing, Constantine is a far more interesting central character than that of the usual super hero schtick and the mythology is used very creatively. The visual effects are also striking, having a really nice interpretation of Hell which looks like those old videos of nuclear blast zones and the quality cast – including Pruitt Taylor as Constantine’s alcoholic priest side kick, Tilda Swinton as Angel Gabriel and Peter Stormare’s wonderfully creepy Satan – draw you into this dark underworld of demons and angels.
Stylish, inventive and suitably atmospheric, Constantine still stands up as one of the best films of its type that should strike a chord with fans of Guillermo Del Toro’s work.