Movie Details

CONSTANTINE

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Genre: Action
Running Time: NA
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Cast: Rachel Weisz, Shia LaBeouf
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Review
Writer: Nurliana Kamaruddin

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I would be lying if I say I didn't love the movie. I'm a sucker for monster movies and outrageous CGI. When you have a movie like "Constantine" that blends those two elements into one fluid story, then you have me hooked. Oh, and did I mention I'm a huge, HUGE fan of the comic Hellblazer and Keanu? Figures, doesn't it?

Two things I've been warned about by friends before going for this movie due to my hardly containable excitement about watching it, 1) Don't expect your favourite comic character to cross over from comic to big screen and remain the same, and, 2) Your favourite actor will not necessarily do justice to your favourite comic character. Still, that aside, you have to agree that having your favourite actor play your favourite comic character evokes a kind of high that most would associate to taking certain illegal substances.

Before I get carried away, let's look at the story line. Damned soul John Constantine spends his life walking two worlds, the human world and hell, sending demons half-bred to the underworld in a desperate bid for his own salvation. Born with a gift of sight beyond most humans, John is not a believer but simply one who knows. As one of the half-angels said to him - knowing and believing are two different things. He knows that hell and heaven exist. He knows that all humans are at stake. He knows all that but his belief and faith in God is not exactly at the most commendable level.

Although they made John Constantine an American as opposed to his English comic counterpart, I am eternally grateful to the filmmakers for preserving John's sharp wit and cynical outlook to life. His one-liners and blunt replies translated itself splendidly onto the screen just like his character carries itself in the comic. I find it hard to accept John Constantine without the odd Brit humour but Keanu did slip into John's skin quite well. In fact, I can almost forgive the filmmakers for overlooking the very important fact that John Constantine is suppose to be blonde, not dark-haired.

As for the movie, if the action and special effects don't get you, then the script surely will. No over-complications, no one using amazingly big words (picture The Architect from "The Matrix Reloaded"), no one trying to sound smart - just good, tight storytelling and a whole bunch of one liners that will have you wishing for opportunities to use them on people.

Of course, I must warn you first though, this movie might be hard to swallow for those of you who like to pride themselves as intellectuals. Those of you who have high aesthetic taste for movies also might walk out of the cinema sorely disappointed. Another thing, any of you hoping for a graphic adaptation of the comic won't find it in this movie. "Constantine" simply took the story from the comic and ran its own course.

At the end of the day, this movie does have its deep moments. John Constantine's character reflects how man is truly afraid of his own mortality. I also found truth in the fact that humans have great capability to do evil deeds but in the face of horrible consequences, they can be truly noble as well. Your salvation or your damnation lies in your own choice.

"Constantine" had its draggy bits but I give two thumbs up for this movie. Go and watch it.

Cinema Online, 23 September 2008
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Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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