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Kind of Like the Matrix, but Different

Oddly enough Constantine isn't as bad as it looks. The movie, based on the DC/Vertigo comic book Hellblazer, is an actually interesting as well as fairly entertaining screen interpretation that includes (surprisingly enough) respected actors such as Tilda Swinton and Djimon Hounsou. While some parts may be confusing to those who have never read either the comic or the Bible, you are fed enough information to be able to follow along.

John Constantine (a handsome as always but emotionally dead Keanu Reeves) is a cynical chain-smoking, hard-boiled paranormal excerpt best described as a 'demon cop' who's trying to buy his way into heaven (because of a former -- obviously unsuccessful -- suicide attempt, he has been banned from entering through the pearly gates) by pissing off the Devil (played with scene-stealing gusto by a debonair Peter Stormare, Fargo). When the identical twin sister of L.A. detective Angie (Rachel Weisz) mysteriously commits suicide, she seeks outs the guidance of Constantine, and the two uncover a diabolical plan that would unleash hell on earth.

Sound unbelievable? What do you expect -- it's based on a comic book. Constantine is director Francis Lawrence's (who until now has directed music videos) first feature. Most feature film directors who make their name doing videos tend to suffer from 'MTV edit syndrome' and as a result, their movies suffer from hyper-manic pacing and shallow direction. However, that isn't quite the case here and Constantine slowly unravels. Furthermore, Lawrence utilizes interesting camera angles that separate this film, stylistically at least, from others of the same genre.

Essentially Constantine is a theological Matrix. Instead of machines controlling man, demons and angels known as "half-breeds" do. As in the former, there is a whole other world within the perceived world that can only be seen if one goes through a physical rite, which then on allows them to see reality for what it really is. The similarities don't end there.

If you are looking for something to watch on a Friday night that requires little thinking, beautiful people and a story that has nothing to do with reality, then Constantine is a good pick.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5