When we think of DC, the first thing that often comes to mind is classic superheroes like Batman or Wonder Woman. We sometimes forget DC Comics has produced hundreds of different characters, some of which don’t fall into the superhero genre at all. An example is John Constantine, first introduced in the “Hellraiser” comic book series. More of a supernatural horror figure than anything else, the character was first created on film by Keanu Reeves in the 2005 film “Constantine.”
John Constantine is a suicide survivor and demon hunter, which gives him a unique view of good and evil. Having already been to Hell himself, Constantine knows he will return there once he dies unless he can accumulate enough good deeds to reverse his fate. During his journey to redemption, he meets Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz), a police officer investigating the suicide of his twin sister. The two are caught in a heavenly battle between good and evil that tests Constantine’s commitment to walking a righteous path.
Like “The Batman”, “Constantine” is very dark, both visually and thematically. Both films portray protagonists struggling to do the right thing while struggling with their own self-loathing and loneliness. Although it was not especially well received upon its initial release, it was recently re-evaluated by reviews and the fans. (Reeves loved the character so much he tried to play it again.) If you were thrilled by “The Batman,” you might enjoy the harrowing world of “Constantine.”
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255).