Constantine is a 2005 American film based on Vertigo Comics' Hellblazer comic book, with some plot elements being taken from the "Dangerous Habits" arc (issues #41-46). It was released on February 8, 2005 in Hong Kong, and on February 18, 2005 in the U.S. and Canada. It is rated R for violence and demonic images by the MPAA. It also contains mild language.
Angela absolutely refuses to believe her sister killed herself and investigates a possible occult angle that leads her back to Constantine. She asks his advice on how the devoutly Catholic Isabel could be convinced to take her own life. At first, he dismisses the event as a simple result of mental illness, and she angrily leaves. As she leaves his home, Constantine sees that demons are chasing Angela, and he hurries after her. Forced hurriedly to explain himself, Constantine reveals Earth as a neutral realm between Heaven and Hell where God and Satan wagered on who could win the most souls among humans, which would one day lead to either the ultimate salvation or damnation of Earth, depending on the numbers. Though direct intervention by angels or demons is prohibited, 'half-breeds,' humans with mixed angelic or demonic ancestry, are able to provide influence. Angela dismisses him as delusional, until the demons attack and he fends them off. Afterwards, Constantine reveals he was born with the ability to detect these beings (both holy and demonic). Led to believe he was insane, his parents not believing him, and finding treatment unhelpful, he committed suicide to escape the torment, and went to Hell before he was resuscitated by doctors. Now almost certain to go to Hell when he does die, Constantine battles their forces on Earth in an attempt to win God's favor, enraging Satan, who now holds a personal grudge against Constantine.
Constantine discovers that Angela and her sister were also born with the ability to detect these beings, a power repressed by Angela as she grew older. She undergoes a reawakening with Constantine's help. She then leads Constantine across the city to Balthazar (Gavin Rossdale), a demon half-breed conspiring with Satan's son Mammon to conquer Earth. Mammon, after first possessing a psychic human, can only fully cross over into Earth with divine assistance, notably the Spear of Destiny, encrusted with the blood of Jesus Christ, God's only son. After defeating Balthazar, the two attempt to escape, but Angela is kidnapped by an unseen force. Constantine pursues her to the hospital, where inside, the man from Mexico arrives with the Spear of Destiny and helps Mammon possess Angela. Constantine and his apprentice, Chas Kramer (Shia LaBeouf) struggle to repress Mammon in Angela's body and are almost successful, until the same unseen force that kidnapped Angela reappears, and kills Chas. Constantine conducts a spell to reveal the hidden force, the considerable effort involved weakening him, and as Constantine lies beaten he sees that it is Gabriel. Gabriel, bitter over the effortless salvation offered to humans by God, vows to infect Earth with Hell, declaring that humans only deserve salvation when they are truly noble or heroic; that only happens beneath adversity and horror, which Mammon will provide- with Gabriel's twisted assistance.
As Gabriel prepares to release Mammon, Constantine prays to God for intervention, but has no luck; out of options, cuts his wrists with a piece of shattered glass, knowing his death will bring Satan (Peter Stormare) to personally collect his soul. At the moment of Constantine's death, time stops, and Satan appears. At first giddy with excitement, Satan is angered to learn of Mammon's plot, which he initially doesn't believe. Finally convinced his son is breaking God's laws, he stops the ritual, using his greater power to return Mammon to Hell. Gabriel, whose acts have put herself outside God's grace, is now powerless, so Satan burns her wings off, making her human. Satan returns to Constantine and asks what reward he expects, to which Constantine asks that Isabel's soul be released to Heaven. Satan complies and begins dragging Constantine to Hell, only to be interrupted by the Divine Light, which accepts Constantine into Heaven amidst his selfless sacrifice. Witnessing the escape of his reviled enemy, an enraged Satan rips the cancer from Constantine's lungs, resurrecting him for the further opportunity to condemn himself to Hell, before disappearing. Constantine pulls himself back to his feet, amazed that he is still alive, and joins a newly awakened Angela. As they speak, Constantine pulls the Spear of Destiny from the floor, and the now-human Gabriel emerges from the pool. She challenges Constantine to kill her, thereby exacting his revenge. Instead, Constantine punches her in the face to show her the pain of being human.
Later that night atop the hospital's roof, Constantine offers Angela the Spear of Destiny. As she leaves him to the solitary Los Angeles skyline, Constantine, now in full possession of his fate, begins chewing nicotine gum to help him quit smoking.
At the end of the film's credits, Constantine visits Chas's grave, leaving his cigarette lighter atop the grave. As Constantine turns to leave, Chas appears as an angel, and flies silently into the sky, leaving behind a smiling Constantine.
|Keanu Reeves||John Constantine|
|Rachel Weisz|| Det. Angela Dodson|
|Shia LaBeouf||Chas Kramer|
|Djimon Hounsou||Papa Midnite|
|Pruitt Taylor Vince||Father Hennessy|
|Jose Zuniga||Det. Weiss|
|Francis Guinan||Father Garret|
|Nicholas Downs||Church Attendant|
|Larry Cedar||Vermin Man|
|Quinn Buniel||10-year-old Constantine|
There are a number of content differences between the film Constantine and the Hellblazer comic books which the film is based on.
The only angels that are featured in this film are called half-breeds, described below. Like the demons in this film, true angels are forbidden from entering the earthly plane. Unlike demons in this film, however, angels appear to be too honest to cheat. Any other types of angel that might exist within the film's setting are thus unknown.
John also uses an Amityville Screech Beetle, a small insect kept inside a matchbox. When shaken, it emits a high-pitched sound which stuns demons. This is an Ancient Egyptian reference to the high pitched clicks of the sacred scarab beetle, which lives in tombs.
During the final fight of the film, when commanding Gabriel to show herself, John combines a set of tattoos on his forearms and recites the line, "Into the light, I command thee" The emblem is called the Perfect Red King of Sulfur. Used in Alchemy, sulfur is a purifying agent.
It was rumored that a sequel was being planned for release in 2007; however, the film never materialized. Keanu Reeves did not commit to the project, sometimes expressing interest and other times not. Recently, movie producer Lauren Shuler Donner has commented that a sequel (with Reeves attached) is in the works, but that Francis Lawrence would not be directing.
Movie producer Lauren Shuler Donner stated in a November 18-19, 2006 interview that writers are currently developing a script for Constantine 2. She claims that Keanu Reeves is willing to reprise his role as John Constantine. Donner also stated that Constantine 2 would be filmed in a South American country, and a different director would replace Francis Lawrence who directed the first film. Nevertheless, Lawrence will act as a producer on the sequel. The film is expected to be rated "R", similar to the first film.
Warner Home Video announced that the film was to be released on HD DVD on March 28, 2006. It would be one of the earliest titles to be released on that media format. However, following delays to the launch of the HD DVD format (which pushed back the release of many of the initially announced titles), Constantine eventually made its debut on HD DVD on June 6, 2006.
There was also a video game of the movie Constantine for PlayStation 2, Xbox and PC. The game was a 3rd person action/adventure game, and it did not feature Keanu Reeves' voice, but a close impersonator.