What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie has extensive, intense, and graphic peril and violence, disturbing images, and suicides. Characters are injured and killed. There is some strong language, though less than in many R-rated movies. Characters drink, and a character is a chain smoker and is dying of lung cancer. Some viewers may be concerned about the portrayal of theological concepts, clergy members, angels, and demons.
What's the story?
John Constantine (Keanu Reeves) has an unusual ability: He is able to see demons that have crossed their plane into ours. Demons that take over human bodies and exert control. At one time overhwhelmed by his ability, Constantine had tried to kill himself. As punishment for that crime, Constantine is tasked with tracking down demons that cross into our plane and returning them to their own. When police detective Angela Dodson's (Rachel Weisz) sister kills herself in a mental ward, Angela's investigation leads her to Constantine. Together they must work to save earth from evil.
Is it any good?
CONSTANTINE is all about the visuals and the attitude, and both are cool and striking, reflecting its comic book origins and music video sensibilities. Take a 1930s movie detective, a guy who shoots straight and talks tough. You know, the kind of guy who may have a soft spot for a dame in a jam but that doesn't necessarily mean he believes what she tells him. The kind of who always seems to be walking down a rain-soaked street on a moonless night, smoking a cigarette. Put him in today's Los Angeles. So he has lung cancer from all that smoking and a bit of a punk-ish edge. And this detective has been to hell and back -- literally.
Highlights include a battle with a rock star-like demon (played by real-life rock star Gavin Rossdale) in a sleek corporate boardroom, a sort of elevator to hell through immersion in water, and swarming CGI creatures and insects. The film plays with some fundamental philosophical and theological puzzles, but the concepts and the language are all sizzle, no steak. That's more that can be said for the relationship between Reeves and Weisz. He achieves a nicely cool vibe somewhere between zen and exhaustion, but that never connects with Weisz's earnestness and sense of loss.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about their own notions of heaven and hell and free will. What matters most to John? To Angela? To Midnite?