As part of an ongoing effort to preview soon-to-be released films, the Associated Students of UCI screened ‘Constantine’ on Feb. 15.
‘Constantine,’ out since Feb. 18, brings yet another comic book adaptation to the silver screen. Devoid of superhero capers in tights, ‘Constantine’ is set in the darker modern gothic universe of the Hellblazer comic by DC Comics.
An occult sci-fi thriller, ‘Constantine’ is a visually stunning ride, borrowing imagery from the rich Christian tapestry. Steeped in Christian mythos, ‘Constantine”s setting has enough history and story-telling power to drive a supernatural plot, regardless of your beliefs.
The story’s premises are intriguing. Humanity is caught in an ongoing wager between heaven and hell. The rules are simple: neither side can directly interact with mortals and can only work through intermediaries, whom John Constantine (Keanu Reeves) lovingly refers to as ‘half-breeds.’ The great powers have agreed to wait and see where humanity will fall on the morality scale.
However, the forces of hell continually seek to break the careful balance to sway mankind into chaos.
Herein steps John Constantine, a sort of enforcer of ‘The Balance.’ Though mortal, Constantine utilizes a mix of his wits, contacts and supernatural tools to banish demons that have overstepped their boundaries.
One of the few people on earth born able to see through the guises of angels and demons, Constantine breaks with traditional superheroes in calling his gift a curse and only utilizing his powers for his own gain.
All the demon hunting and his good deeds are done for a single purpose: to buy his way back into Heaven.
As the film unfolds, forces are put into play that exceed the usual half-demon antics. And simultaneously, the unsettling suicide of Detective Angela Dodson’s (Rachel Weisz) twin sister Isabel has caused Angela to seek Constantine and become intertwined in his apocalyptic world.
The film captures the dark mood very well. Though set in Los Angeles rather than in London (as in the original comics), the film keeps a gritty feel, bordering on apocalyptic.
But interestingly enough, the film is shot through with moments of comedy