The first must-see summer blockbuster of the year is being released in February. I saw an advanced screening of Constantine this past Tuesday. Keanu Reeves stars as John Constantine. Constantine is a super-natural detective and exorcist. Born with the gift (or curse) of being able to see half-breed demons and angels in the world, Constantine was driven to commit suicide. However, Constantine was resuscitated. Now, condemned for committing the mortal sin of suicide, Constantine is trying to earn his salvation by fighting against the devilâ€™s minions.
Rachel Weisz stars as Angela Dodson and her twin sister Isabel. Police detective Angela is on a mission to prove her sisterâ€™s death was murder and not suicide. Angela seeks Constantineâ€™s help on her journey where both hope to find peace.
Keanu Reeves gives his best acting performance yet in Constantine. His convincingly portrays a cynical man who hopes to find salvation but is held back by his own selfish motivations.
Weisz give a good performance as Angela and does as well as she can as the person who the audience most identifies with. Angela is the person who does not understand the struggle between heaven and hell. It is through her we discover what is really in the world. However, Weiszâ€™s best moments are in her eerie portrayal of the twin sister Isabel.
Any movie dealing with heaven, hell, and salvation is a magnet for controversy. This movie will undoubtedly draw that controversy but the producers did an admirable job of balancing the spiritual with the secular. Some Christians may disagree with the details of the movie, yet the messages do not disagree with their worldview. At the same time, non-Christians should not feel uncomfortable with the themes of the battle of angels and demons.
This balance also extends to the way the movie spreads comic relief among the parts that will make you jump. Special effects are excellent especially in the scenes in hell and the depiction of the demons. Stop motion is especially effective throughout the movie.
Although there is no nudity or sexual situations, the movie is accurately rated R for depictions of demons, violence and language (the “f” bomb is dropped a few times although not excessively).
A great summer movie has come early to the theaters.
3 Â½ stars