Thursday, March 31, 2005

Constantine - Good vs. Evil

It's a simple story, right? Good vs. Evil. Unfortunately, Constantine makes it complicated.

Constantine is the story of an embittered man (played by Keanu Reeves, wise-cracking his way through the cigarette smoke) who can see into Hell itself. Since a small boy, he's been able to see those demons and monsters who walk among us, those "half-breeds," as he calls them, who have the ability to come into our world and "influence." He fights them whenever he can. And that's when Constantine is at his best, pulling a demon out of a little girl's soul.

Constantine, although our hero, is not a hero's hero. He's not the Good in GvE. He's plagued by his own inner demons, much more powerful than those outside. Overwhelmed by his special gifts, he committed suicide as a young man, and the church has condemned him to hell. What he does now are his attempts to sway the balance to the positive, if just a little.

The movie offers terrific effects, sparingly used, so that we get the full impact of falling into the abyss of Hell, or watching the female detective be pulled through seven walls of the office building. Horror is at its greatest during these moments, as a feeling of utter hopelessness and lack of control take over our consciousness as we watch.

But the movie can't sustain these pieces of ingenuity. As soon as we get revved up in a dandy scene of horror or action, we're pulled back to utter boredom. We stand still during exposition and introduction of dozens of odd characters which have little to do with the story. Then we rev up again for a few seconds during a brilliantly staged action scene. But then we plummet back to earth again, exhausted and confused. I discovered this after I awoke.

Falling asleep, unfortunately, is a natural in most of this movie. I recommend it.


Post a Comment

<< Home