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Constantine (2005)

Constantine. Feature film. (2005, 121 mins) IMDB

...the fantasy world of hell...

F

rom what I've read, I may have been one of the few people who enjoyed this movie. It happens. What's even more surprising is the fact the film deals with the supernatural, with fantasy, and I was able to suspend my disbelief and follow what was being told.

The film is after all a fantasy. There is no heaven and there is no hell. We see hell in this film plus the devil and his son. We see angels (or are they fallen angels), but not heaven. Then there is something called half-breads. They seem to be humans who are possessed with an evil spirit of sorts. I can't explain it beyond that.

Then there is John Constantine (Reeves). As a boy something happened to him and he realized he possessed a special power--the power to see hell and hell on earth or these forces that come from hell. He also tried to commit suicide but he survived and lives with the knowledge that when he dies, he'll go directly to hell. What happened to repenting and forgiveness? He's trying to avoid a permanent trip to hell by doing good deeds on earth. He figures if he gets rid of enough evil spirits, he'll be in the good books and get to go to heaven and as the story starts he learns his time on earth won't last much longer. He's dying of lung cancer.

While watching this film, it got me thinking about hell and I remember an incident grilling lamb chops. They were French cut and I placed them on a very hot grill. I managed to leave them on the grill far too long. The result was the exposed bone burnt to dust. I have never before or since had that happen or seen it happen or hear of it happening. I was surprised. I had cremated the bone. I mention this because I've been told hell is a hot place and if you go there you'll suffer eternal pain from this heat. I don't get it. How can you suffer pain if your body is on earth? If you body goes to hell then at some point it will burn up so how can it be eternal? I don't have the answers to these questions. I'm curious to hear people's answer. Remember, there is no hell so it's all fantasy and academic, but it's interesting.

Back to the film.

Constantine is on a crusade to stop the evil-from-hell forces on earth, but there's more. There's twin sisters. One is a cop. The other a nut-case who committed suicide or so the evidence suggests. Since suicide is a mortal since, she goes straight to hell and can't have a religious burial. The surviving twin knows her sister wouldn't kill herself and enlists Constantine to find evidence in the afterlife to prove her case. He's not too interested but he gets involved and even more involved when he realizes the son the devil is plotting to reincarnate himself on earth etc. and so on.

As you can imagine, the devil and his son loses. Our hero triumphs and gets the girl.

Maybe because I don't watch many fantasy films or read the genre, and therefore not familiar with the norms, I can't be negative about what takes place. I will say I was caught up in this story and found it interesting with a few philosophical sidebars along the way to distract me.

Posted 2009/05/13 at 19h42ET in Movie Commentary.

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