Keanu Reeves has played Buddha (Little Buddha), the messiah figures of Neo (The Matrix) and Johnny Mnemonic, the son of the devil (The Devil's Advocate), and a traveler to hell (Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey).
Now, in Francis Lawrence's action-horror flick Constantine, he's an exorcist who's been to hell and back, and thus he knows how important it is to fight on the right side of the war for human souls. But he's also unwilling to deal with God, except in a begrudging fashion as a smart-mouth and a bargainer. He'll cast out as many demons as is necessary to "earn" his way back into God's good graces, but he's not in any kind of mood to ask for forgiveness. Meanwhile, the forces of evil are threatening to overwhelm the world now that one of their zombie-like minions has gained hold of a magical talisman—the spear that killed Christ.
Wait a minute … the what?
Constantine throws more Christian terminology and religious iconography at moviegoers than any film we've seen in the past few years, including The Passion of the Christ. But that has not turned every Christian film critic into a fan of the movie. For all of its talk of heaven versus hell, Constantine is preoccupied with entertaining us with the powers of darkness instead of visions of hope, redemption, or light. Its few nods towards Christ are vague and confused. The visual spectacle earns some points, the cast gets a few compliments, and its presentation of heaven as the preferable side of spiritual warfare is commendable. But the story? The "spirituality"? They leave a lot to be desired.
My full review is at Christianity Today Movies.
Steven D. Greydanus (Decent Films) is troubled by Constantine's glorification of evil. "The contrast between the masculine demons ...1
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