Episode 17: Constantine

This Halloween, Craft Disservices rises from the dead for a discussion about an early comic book film so underrated it’s scary: 2005’s “Constantine”!

Film critic and author Darren Mooney of the Escapist joins the show to talk about the only recently remembered film adaptation of the classic Vertigo comic “Hellblazer”. Post-“Matrix” Keanu Reeves stars as the blue-collar warlock Constantine, a paranormal investigator damned to Hell for his sins and his generally lousy attitude. When police detective Angela Dodson’s twin sister dies under mysterious circumstances, Constantine will find himself pulled into a war between Heaven and Hell with innocent souls hanging in the balance!

Constantine is something of an odd artifact of the pre-Nolan, pre-Downey landscape of comic films. It was a financial success, but critics (and some audiences) bounced off of its murky morality and turgid visuals. It’s only from the perspective of our current sanitized MCU Purgatory that some have looked back to efforts like Constantine as films standing in the gap between the forces of brand recognition and marketability. In this episode, we talk about how you “couldn’t make this today”, the exaggerated “death of cinema”, how the algorithm determines what gets made, the film’s stark Bush-era immigration metaphors, and how critics often recoil from “odd” movies.

Plus, we talk about famous grump Alan Moore, mid-period Keanu, the last gasp of the non-franchise comic film, Black Adam’s baldness, Nic Cage, “theological noir”, Rachel Weisz in a tub, hugging and learning, a great Satan, swinging for the fences with your adaptation, “Ennisonian”, and angels with dirty faces!

Don’t hex us, Alan Moore!

Rotten Tomatoes: 46%
Metacritic: 50
IMDB: 7/10

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