Directed by Francis Lawrence, starring Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz, Tilda Swinton, Shia LaBeouf, Djimon Hounsou, Gavin Rossdale, Pruitt Taylor Vince and Max Baker.
Based on the 'Hellblazer' comics, 'Constantine' tells the story of a world precariously balanced between heaven and hell, where angels and demons vie for human souls, using their influence to direct the destinies of mankind. And in the middle of it all is a very reluctant hero named John Constantine.
Constantine (Reeves) is an exorcist and demonology expert whose job it is to deport those who upset the balance of the world back to where they came from, be it heaven or hell. When he's approached by detective Angela Dodson (Weisz) to help figure out the reason behind her twin sister Isabel's (also Weisz) apparent suicide, he's none too willing to get involved because he's got problems of his own.
He's just learnt that he's dying of lung cancer and what's worse is that he already knows he's going to hell. He tried to commit suicide as a troubled youth and the unshakeable law here is that all suicides go to hell, no exceptions. Having seen what hell is like he has no desire to go back, so he's spent his life trying to buy his way back into heaven by keeping the peace on earth. Unfortunately for him, a place in heaven can't be bought, but he decides to help Angela anyway and the pair find themselves in a race against time to protect the balance of power between good and evil.
Reeves is supremely sarcastic and apathetic as the hardened Constantine. His character's personality is evident in this performance where it hasn't been in previous roles (Neo in 'The Matrix' springs to mind). That said, there's still a lot that doesn't work here, the sudden attraction between Constantine and Angela being one of the less effective elements.
Catholic doctrine and symbolism has been plundered for fantasy films before; 'End of Days' and 'Stigmata' for example, and 'Constantine' makes a good show of re-interpreting the ideologies - the theory of a bible in hell, for instance. It's visually stunning too, with a truly horrific vision of hell and the interaction between the characters is refreshingly down-to-earth.
'Constantine' will probably find its main audience in fans of the comic on which it is based. For the rest of us, it's a film that looks good and has a few interesting ideas, but won't blow you away.