“Constantine” remains one of my favorite movies — not because of an actor or set of actors, but for the way it portrays good and evil in the world.
My faith still plays a vital role in my life, but I will not turn this posting into a study on what the Bible says about demons, hell, angels and heaven.
It’s true the movie — released in 2005 — was filmed in a dark tone, but that did not mean the movie was only about the darkness.
Keanu Reeves is not one my short list of favorite actors; too many times I cannot look past “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.”
So I can’t put my finger on why I find him so compelling as the character John Constantine — so much so that the recent TV show never sits well with me.
There are three actors that I enjoyed more than Reeve’s Constantine: Tilda Swinton’s Gabrielle, Djimon Hounsou’s Papa Midnite and Peter Stormare’s Satan.
In my opinion, the supporting cast made the movie much more satisfying. Each of these three actors played to their character’s most prominent characteristic.
Stormare incorporated hissing in his dialogue with Reeves at the end of the movie. Whether the direction was from Stormare or from the director, I am not sure. But it does make him sound menacing and maybe just a little bit scarier.
Swinton, on the other hand, lends a softness to Gabrielle.
Granted, she is a woman. The softness of her voice and mannerisms somehow makes the character seem more approachable.
And let’s not forget Hounsou’s portrayal of the chaotic Papa Midnite.
Midnite consorts with anyone, good or evil. His club seems a true haven for those of any suggestion.
He refuses to become involved in matters of good or evil, but his apathetic attitude could be explained by a weariness of sorts.
As the movie progresses, he shows a willingness to fight for the side of good.
Altogether, you have a fight for more than just good — there is right and wrong. But there are characters who struggle to stand up and accept what “gifts” were given to them.
At one point, Constantine calls his gift a curse — and who wouldn’t feel that way initially?
Overall, I’d say the movie was not given a fair shake by most — I’d give it a solid 8 out of 10.