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Constantine

Promotional poster for Constantine
Directed by Francis Lawrence
Produced by Gilbert Adler
Michael Aguilar
Written by Kevin Brodbin
Frank Cappello
Starring Keanu Reeves
Rachel Weisz
Shia LaBeouf
Tilda Swinton
Pruitt Taylor Vince
Djimon Hounsou
Gavin Rossdale
Peter Stormare
Nicholas Downs
José Zúñiga
Francis Guinan
Jesse Ramirez
Max Baker
Music by Klaus Badelt
Brian Tyler
Cinematography Philippe Rousselot
Editing by Wayne Wahrman
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) February 18, 2005 (2005-02-18)
Running time 121 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $100,000,000
Gross revenue $230,884,728

Constantine is a 2005 American film based on Vertigo ComicsHellblazer comic book, with some plot elements being taken from the “Dangerous Habits” story arc (issues #41–46) and others—such as the inclusion of Papa Midnite—from the Original Sins trade paperback. It was released on February 8, 2005 in Hong Kong, and on February 18, 2005 in the U.S. and Canada.

Contents

Plot

Set in Los Angeles, California, John Constantine (Keanu Reeves), a chain-smoking cynic, has the ability to see half-angels’ and half-demons’ true forms. He seeks salvation from eternal damnation to hell for a suicide attempt in his youth, by sending half-demons back to Hell with his sidekick Chas (Shia LaBeouf). However, full demons have begun attempting to cross over. Disturbed by this information and with his death looming over him due to lung cancer, Constantine seeks an audience with the androgynous half-breed angel Gabriel (Tilda Swinton). Gabriel tells him that as he does his exorcisms to escape Hell and for his own benefit, they are vain acts that won’t spare him. Departing, he encounters LAPD officer Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz), investigating the death of her twin sister Isabel, who leapt from the roof of the mental hospital she was committed to. Constantine is attacked by a true demon, but kills it. Upon attempting to speak with former witch-doctor turned owner of a nightclub that serves as neutral ground for half-breeds; Papa Midnite (Djimon Honsou) about this attack, he is rebuffed and dismissed. Constantine, with the help of his associates Beeman (Max Baker), Hennessy (Pruitt Taylor Vince), and Chas, begins investigating the situation.

Constantine tells Angela that God and Satan have a standing wager for the souls of all mankind. The rule for this wager is that angels and demons cannot manifest on Earth (however, half-breeds can), but can possess and influence humans. Afterwards, Constantine finds out Isabel was psychic, and her visions lead to her institutionalization. With the help of Hennessy and Beeman, Constantine finds out that the demons are working for Mammon, Satan’s son, who wishes to create his own kingdom on Earth. In order for Mammon to come to Earth, he needs divine assistance and a powerful psychic, for which reason half-demon Balthazar (Gavin Rossdale) locates Isabel and Angela. Angela reveals that she possessed the same gift but denied hers to the point that it became inactive. At her request, Constantine reawakens it so she can see demons’ and angels’ true forms.

Constantine attacks and interrogates Balthazar, who reveals that Mammon has obtained the Spear of Destiny, which has the blood of Jesus Christ encrusted on it. Angela is kidnapped to be used as the portal for Mammon’s entrance to Earth. Constantine storms Midnite’s club and after a brief scuffle, Midnite allows Constantine access to “the chair,” an old electric chair from Sing Sing Prison that had killed over 200 people. It grants Constantine visions which show him that the Spear was discovered in Mexico and that it is already in L.A. Constantine and Chas go to Isabel’s hospital, where Mammon is conducting the ritual to rise in Angela’s body. After exorcising numerous half-breed demons, the pair interrupt the ritual and attempt to exorcise Mammon from Angela, costing Chas his life at the hands of an invisible party.

Using sigils on his arms, John forces the party, Gabriel, to reveal itself, but Constantine is promptly subdued. Gabriel resents God’s favoritism towards humanity, and the forgiveness they are readily given. Gabriel believes that by bringing Hell to Earth, humans can become worthy of God’s love through repentance and faith. Gabriel throws Constantine from the room and begins to release Mammon. As Gabriel goes to stab Angela with the Spear and release Mammon, Constantine slits his wrists. Time stops and Lucifer (Peter Stormare), who hates Constantine enough to collect his soul personally, arrives. Constantine tells Lucifer about Mammon’s plan and Lucifer sends Mammon back to Hell to keep Mammon from conquering Earth before him. Gabriel attempts to smite Lucifer, but is relieved of its holy powers and defeated.

In return for helping Lucifer, Constantine asks that Isabel be allowed to go to Heaven. Lucifer happily obliges but as Lucifer drags Constantine to Hell, Heaven appears before him. By sacrificing himself for Isabel, Constantine may enter Heaven. Infuriated, Lucifer heals Constantine’s wounds and cures him of his cancer so Constantine may prove that he belongs in Hell. Constantine retrieves the Spear and departs with Angela, but not before a now-human Gabriel attempts to goad Constantine into committing murder.

Constantine then gives the Spear to Angela and instructs her to hide it where no one can find it. The final shot before the credits reveals that Constantine has switched from cigarettes to nicotine gum.

After the credits, Constantine visits Chas’ grave and sees Chas rise into Heaven as an angel.

Cast

Constantine, Midnite, and Chas standing outside of Papa Midnite’s bar.

Production

Differences from Hellblazer

Constantine was written using some elements from Garth Ennis’ “Dangerous Habits” story arc (issues #41–46)[1] and others—such as the inclusion of Papa Midnite—from the Original Sins trade paperback.[2] However, the film changed several aspects of the source material, including a number of cosmetic changes to the lead character’s appearance: Reeves played the role with his natural accent and hair colour[3] whilst the original character was intentionally drawn to resemble British musician Sting and originally came from Liverpool.[4] The film was also set in Los Angeles, with the director pointing out that the comic book wasn’t exclusively set in London either.[3]

Other differences to the character were made, such as giving him the psychic ability to see “half-breeds” as they truly are. That ability, in the movie, is what caused him to attempt suicide and which led to his damnation[5] rather than his role in summoning a demon that killed a young girl.[6] The resolution of the lung cancer plotline in the film was also amended, with Lucifer saving the redeemed Constantine to give him a second chance at falling rather than being tricked into doing so as was seen in the comic book.[5]

The film’s title was changed from Hellblazer to Constantine to avoid confusion with the Clive Barker Hellraiser films.[3] The comics series itself was originally to be titled Hellraiser but was also retitled to avoid confusion with the film, released the previous year.[4]

Hell

Hell, as it is depicted within the film

Hell is depicted in the film as a place which appears to have been struck by a nuclear bomb. According to the DVD commentary, it was indeed based on old nuclear test in which anything in the path of the ensuing shock wave was immediately disintegrated. As of such, the landscape was left crumbling with a constant hue of orange in the sky and immensely strong winds over the land. According to the novel[7] which was released alongside the film, the buildings were lined with blood instead of mortar and the souls of the damned had been crushed in ways that made up the very foundations and building materials of the buildings. In other areas, demons would feast on the souls of the damned in large groups (as is depicted in the film where a great deal of souls are being desecrated by attacking soldier demons).

The book[7] also describes how the landscape of hell is literally a mirror of that of the physical plane: “If you died in Los Angeles, you went to Hell Los Angeles. If you died in New York, you went to Hell New York.” According to Constantine, time in Hell also passes with immense relativity to that of time in the physical plane. While speaking with Angela on his time in Hell immediately after his suicide, he claimed that, “...I was officially dead for only two minutes; but when you cross over, time stops. Take it from me, two minutes in Hell is a lifetime.” This was visibly observed towards the end of the film after John’s second suicide.

In an interview with Horror.com, Constantine director Francis Lawrence explained that he based Hell on the present geography: “Hell would sort of be based on the geography of what’s around us now.”[8] When asked about the idea of the never-ending wind-storms, he had this to say:

That was actually a combination of me and the visual effects supervisor and the production designer sitting down and sort of coming up with the biological growth that’s growing all over the cars and what that looks like and the color palette. And we started to look at the nuclear test films from the 1940s of the nuclear blasts and just decided that it would be great if the landscape was not only violent with these creatures, but also the atmosphere. So we decided that it was kind of an eternal nuclear blast except nothing ever really gets obliterated because it’s eternal and it’s constantly going.

Heaven

Heaven also appears to be a mirror of the physical plane. As seen at the end of the film, Heaven also features the Los Angles geography, as Hell did, but the city is intermixed with large clouds and a bright, golden sun illuminating the entire city,

Soundtrack

Constantine: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack by Hollywood Studio Symphony
Released February 15, 2005
Genre Film score
Soundtrack
Length 51:47
Label Varese Sarabande
Professional reviews

Constantine: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is a 2005 soundtrack album from the film, Constantine. The soundtrack is a orchestral compilation of songs in the film, performed by the Hollywood Studio Symphony and composed by Brian Tyler and Klaus Badelt. Notably absent from the soundtrack is “Passive,” a song by A Perfect Circle which was released in conjunction with the film. The song can be heard during Constantine’s walk through Midnite’s bar. Its music video features significant imagery from the film. The soundtrack was panned by Allmusic who referred to it as “clichéd and religiously formulaic.”

Track listing

  1. Destiny (2:00)
  2. The Crossover (2:42)
  3. Meet John Constantine (2:39)
  4. Confession (2:32)
  5. Deo et Patri (1:16)
  6. Counterweight (2:47)
  7. Into the Light (2:54)
  8. I Left Her Alone (1:40)
  9. Resurrection (2:04)
  10. Circle of Hell (5:38)
  11. Last Rites (1:55)
  12. Encountering a Twin (1:06)
  13. Flight to Ravenscar (0:52)
  14. Humanity (2:58)
  15. John (1:31)
  16. Someone Was Here (1:44)
  17. Hell Freeway (2:43)
  18. Ether Surfing (1:13)
  19. Balance (2:26)
  20. Absentee Landlords (1:35)
  21. John’s Solitude (1:25)
  22. Lucifer (1:56)
  23. Rooftop (1:18)
  24. Constantine End Titles (2:39)

Box office, proposed sequel, & video game

Constantine earned over $230 million in worldwide box office receipts. A video game adaption of the film was also produced.

Warner Home Video announced that the film was to be released on HD DVD on March 28, 2006.[9] 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. Warner Home Video released a Blu-ray disc version of the movie on October 14, 2008.

Movie producer Lauren Shuler Donner stated in a November 18–19, 2006 interview that writers were developing a script for Constantine 2 and that Keanu Reeves was 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 would remain, acting as a producer on the sequel.[10][11][12] On March 22, 2008, Reeves stated he would not be willing to participate in a sequel of the movie.[13] However, months later, he directly contradicted this statement in another interview prior to the December 2008 release of The Day the Earth Stood Still.[14] Constantine 2 holds a tentative release date of 2012[15].

References

  1. ^ Rotten, Ryan (November 2007), Update: Francis Lawrence Would Do Constantine 2, http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/news/topnews.php?id=3842, retrieved 17 December 2008 
  2. ^ Keanu Reeves, Djimon Hounsou and Director Francis Lawrence on “Constantine”, http://movies.about.com/library/weekly/aaconst072904a.htm, retrieved 17 December 2008 
  3. ^ a b c Keanu Reeves, Djimon Hounsou and Director Francis Lawrence on “Constantine” Page 2, http://movies.about.com/library/weekly/aaconst072904b.htm, retrieved 17 December 2008 
  4. ^ a b Irvine, Alex (2008), "John Constantine Hellblazer", in Dougall, Alastair, The Vertigo Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, pp. 102–111, ISBN 0-7566-4122-5, OCLC 213309015 
  5. ^ a b Goldstein, Hilary (February 28, 2005), Constantine Vs. Hellblazer, IGN, http://comics.ign.com/articles/591/591991p1.html, retrieved 17 December 2008 
  6. ^ Delano, Jamie (8 May 2007), Hellblazer: The Devil You Know, DC Comics (Vertigo), ISBN 1401212697 
  7. ^ a b Shirley, John (25 January 2005), Constantine (Mass Market Paperback), Pocket Star, ISBN 0743497554 
  8. ^ [http://www.horror.com/php/article-697-1.html Horror.com: Interview with “Constantine” director Francis Lawrence
  9. ^ Business Wire. Warner Home Video Announces Titles and Release Dates for HD DVD. January 5, 2006.
  10. ^ IESB Interview with Lauren Shula Donner November 18, 2006.
  11. ^ IESB Interview with Lauren Shula Donner part 2 November 19, 2006.
  12. ^ “Constantine 2 Confirmed Coming Soon”, IESB.net, November 18, 2006, Retrieved on 2007-05-23.
  13. ^ IESB.net Interview with Keanu Reeves March 22, 2008.
  14. ^ Interview for The Day the Earth Stood Still.
  15. ^ Constantine 2 at the imdB

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Constantine is a 2005 horror thriller about irreverent supernatural detective John Constantine, who has literally been to hell and back.

Directed by Francis Lawrence and written by Kevin Brodbin, Mark Bomback and Frank Capello, based on the DC/Vertigo comic book Hellblazer.
Hell wants him. Heaven won't take him. Earth needs him. Taglines

Contents

John Constantine

  • I guess there's a plan for all of us. I had to die … twice … just to figure that out. Like the book says, he works his work in a mysterious ways. Some people like it … some people don't.
  • Angels and demons can't cross over into our plane. So instead we get what I call half-breeds. The influence peddlers. They can only whisper in our ears. A single word can give you courage, or turn your favorite pleasure into your worst nightmare. Those with the demon's touch and those part angel, living alongside us. They call it the balance. I call it hypocritical bullshit.
  • [Flips off demon] For your boss.
  • [Whispering into the ear of a possessed girl] This is Constantine. John Constantine, asshole.
  • [Speaking to God] I know I'm not one of your favorites, and I'm not welcomed in your house, but I could use a little attention, please.
  • [Constantine traps a spider under a cigarette-smoke filled glass] Welcome to my life.
  • Heaven and hell are right here, behind every wall, every window, the world behind the world. And we're smack in the middle.
  • You don't need His protection. It'll be just like the old days.
  • [As Midnite holds him up against a wall] Is this neutral? Bullshit! You're the only one playing by the rules, Midnite. And while you've been imitating Switzerland, people are dying. [Midnite lets him slump to the ground] Two hundred dollar shirt, by the way.
  • [After punching Gabriel in the face, knocking her down] It's called pain. Get used to it.

Angela Dodson

  • I always denied I could see.
  • When my sister and I were little, we'd leave messages with light and breath.

Lucifer

  • Hello, John. Jooohn, hello.
  • [About John cutting his wrists] I didn't think you would make the same mistake twice. And you didn't, did you?
  • [After Constantine slits his wrists and then tries to light up a cigarette] You know, when you cut too deep, you cut the tendons. Finger movement goes out the window.
  • So what do you want? An extension?
  • This world is mine, in time. You, best of all of us, Gabriel, should understand ambition.
  • No. You will live, John Constantine. You will live. You will have the chance to prove that your soul truly belongs in hell. Oh, you will live. You will live …

Others

  • Balthazar: Word is … you're going down. Fresh meat. [puts fingers in his mouth, hisses, and leans forward] Finger lickin' good.
  • Balthazar: [after being shot by a projectile of John's Tommy-gun] Fire? I was born of this!
  • Balthazar: [as he chokes John to death] Don't fight it, Johnny boy, enjoy it.
  • Beeman: [his last lines] I know you never had much faith, John, you never had much reason to. But that doesn't mean we never had any faith … in you.
  • Chas Kramer: This is Kramer. Chas Kramer. Asshole.
  • Chas Kramer: [to midnite's knocked-out bouncer] Who's the rat in a dress now, bitch?
  • Chas Kramer: [last words] You're right, John. It's not like in the books.
  • Gabriel: You're going to die young because you smoked 30 cigarettes a day since you were 15 … and you're going to go to hell because of the life you took. [pause, Gabriel leans in] You're fucked.
  • Father Hennessy: Hey, John, I think I found you one.
  • Midnite: [after learning of Constantine's cancer] I thought I heard thunder last night. Must have been Satan's stomach growling.
  • Midnite: [shouts] You know the rules of my house! [normal voice] While here you will abide by them.
  • Midnite: [laughing, to John, regarding Chas] Take him, John. Kill him after.
  • Possessed Girl: Papatayin natin siya.
    • She is speaking in Tagalog (Philippine National Language). In English: "We will kill them."

Dialogue

Chas Kramer: Why would you do that when you know this isn't my car, John?
John Constantine: I told you to move the car.
Chas Kramer: Yeah, but if you'd told me you were going to drop a three-hundred pound mirror with a pissed off demon in it, I would have moved it further, John!

Chas Kramer: When am I going to stop being your slave, John?
John Constantine: You're not my slave, Chas, you're my much appreciated apprentice, just like Tonto, or Robin, or that skinny fellow with the fat friend.

Angela Dodson: [asking Constantine to hold elevator] Hold the door, you're going down.
John Constantine: Not if I can help it.

Angela Dodson: I guess God has a plan for all of us.
John Constantine: God's a kid with an ant farm, lady. He's not planning anything.

Angela Dodson: You tried to kill yourself.
John Constantine: I didn't try anything.

Angela Dodson: I don't believe in the devil.
John Constantine: You should. He believes in you.

John Constantine: So when a half-breed breaks the rules, I deport their sorry asses straight back to hell. I don't get them all, but I've been hoping to get enough to ensure my … retirement.
Angela Dodson: I don't understand.
John Constantine: I'm a suicide, Angela. When I die, the rules say I've got just one place to go …
Angela Dodson: You're trying to buy your way into heaven.
John Constantine: What would you do if you were sentenced to a prison where half the inmates were put there by you?

Angela Dodson: My sister was murdered last night.
John Constantine: Sorry to hear.
Angela Dodson: Thanks. She jumped off the the roof of a building.
John Constantine: I thought you said she was murdered.
Angela Dodson: Yeah, well, Isabel wouldn't have taken her own life.
John Constantine: Of course. What kind of mental patient kills herself? That's just crazy.

Angela Dodson: [Angela is about to transport into Hell via bathtub and has taken off her jacket] So, is this good, or do I have to take off the rest of my clothes?
[Pause]
Angela Dodson: John?
John Constantine: I'm thinking …

John Constantine: I need you to leave …
Angela Dodson: Okay. [heads for her room]
John Constantine: … the apartment.
[He waits for her to leave and looks down at the cat]
John Constantine: God, I hate this part.

Balthazar: What are you doing?
John Constantine: I'm reading you your last rites.
Balthazar: Spare me your remedial incantations.
John Constantine: You do know what it is to truly be forgiven? To be welcomed into the Kingdom of God. Demon in heaven, I'd love to be a fly on that wall.
Balthazar: You're not a priest. You have no power.
John Constantine: Just tell me how Mammon is crossing over and you can go back to your shit hole. Okay, Bally, enjoy it. [Balthazar relents]
[After Balthazar gives him the information]
John Constantine: By the way … you have to ask for absolution to be forgiven … asshole.

John Constantine: [to a room full of demons] Hi, my name's John, you are in violation of the balance, leave now or you will be deported. All of you. [no reaction]
John Constantine: [John stands on a chair] Go to hell.
Ellie: [John ignites a lighter and places it under a fire-detector, holy water sprinkles down] Holy water?
[The demons' flesh burns and they scream in agony]

Midnite: [as he is strapping John into the electric chair] Are you sure this isn't about a girl?
John Constantine: This is definitely mostly not about the girl.
Midnite: [while John is strapped in the electric chair] Are you sure about this?
John Constantine: No.
[Midnite electrocutes him, John screams]

Gabriel: [Gabriel sits on top of John Constantine, explaining her rebellion] You're handed this precious gift, right? Each one of you granted redemption from the Creator – murderers, rapists, molesters – all of you just have to repent, and God takes you into His bosom. In all the worlds and all the universe, no other creature can make such a boast, save man. It's not fair.
[Gabriel leans closer to Constantine's face]
Gabriel: If sweet, sweet God loves you so, then I will make you worthy of His love. But it's only in the face of horror that you truly find your noble self – and you can be so noble. So … I will bring you pain. I will bring you horror.
[Gabriel lifts up Constantine from his collar]
Gabriel: So that you may rise above it. So that those of you who will survive this reign of hell on earth will be worthy of God's love.
John Constantine: Gabriel, you're insane!
Gabriel: [smiles] The road to salvation begins tonight. Right now.
[Gabriel blows gently, sending Constantine crashing to the door]

Lucifer: You're the one soul I would come up here to collect myself.
John Constantine: So I've heard.

Lucifer: Sonny, I've got a whole theme park full of red delights for you.
John Constantine: Aren't you a peach.

John Constantine: How's the family?
Lucifer: Family's doing just fine. Busy, busy, busy, busy. Need a vacation.

John Constantine: [regarding Lucifer's son] He's in the other room …
Lucifer: Boys will be boys.
John Constantine: … with Gabriel.
Lucifer: [disgusted] Huh? No accounting for taste, really.
John Constantine: They have the Spear of Destiny.
Lucifer: [mocking, mimicking] "They have the Spear of Destiny." [becomes serious, leans in] Or is it another one of your cons?

Gabriel: Son of perdition. Little horn! Most unclean!
Satan: [nostalgic] I do miss the old names.

Gabriel: I shall smite thee, in His honour.
[Gabriel attempts to punch Lucifer, but is unable. Lucifer looks around and smiles.]
Lucifer: Looks like someone doesn't have your back anymore.

Gabriel: [holding a shotgun against his chest] You want revenge? Go ahead. I deserve it. Pull the trigger.
John Constantine: [takes the gun and punches Gabriel, who feels pain for the first time as a mortal] That's called pain. Get used to it.
Gabriel: [smiling] You could have shot me, John. You chose a higher path.
[Constantine walks out]
Gabriel: [shouting after Constantine] You could have shot me, John! You could have shot me! Look how well you're doing!

Taglines

  • Hell wants him. Heaven won't take him. Earth needs him.
  • The wager between heaven and hell is on Earth

Cast

External links

Wikipedia
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