Rated R 2005

The plot of this comic book adaptation (of the title Hellblazer) is as old as religion itself, pitting God against Satan in a struggle over the souls of humankind. Having long ago agreed to keep their hands off folks, they let their "half-breed" emissaries do their work for them -- the "influence peddlers," as chain-smoking demon-battler John Constantine (Keanu Reeves) calls them, who whisper things in our ears but never directly interfere. Constantine gets involved only when two half-breeds step out of line, attempting to bring the Devil's son into this world to create a hell on earth so they might find those who "will be worthy of God's love in heaven." Caught up in this unholy birth is a cop (Rachel Weisz) who had similar visions of earthly demons as a child. Constantine offers a deceptively thoughtful tale tricked up like an action movie; it's beautiful to look at, but even more lovely to ruminate over as it discusses the difference between knowing there's a God and believing in Him. Hell of a thing.



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