Constantine ★★★★

A genre bending blend of action, horror, and fantasy, Francis Lawrence's "Constantine" is an entertaining blast of comic book-inspired cool. Starring Keanu Reeves as a private investigator with a taste for exorcising real-life demons, the film is well-cast, sturdily assembled, and fully entertaining. It is a dark thriller with a sardonic spirit.

Reeves play John Constantine, a man whose work has him dealing, literally, with heaven, hell, and the Los Angeles landscape in between. The story revolves around Constantine's partnership with a woman whose sister has died under unique circumstances. This partnership finds Constantine caught up in an age-old battle between angels, demons, and the wayward souls of human beings.

The story easily compels and is elevated by Lawrence's steady direction. He creates a supernatural noir with potent action beats taking place a world on the edge of both heaven and hell. Reeves is ideal as the sickly John Constantine, imbuing the character with a dark sense of wit and a slightly stylized humanity. His Constantine is as compelling as the tale and just as engaging. Rachel Weisz is well-placed, and the supporting talents of Shia LaBeouf, Pruitt Taylor Vince, and Tilda Swinton complement the leads.

With "Constantine," Francis Lawrence creates a dark action noir layered with rivulets of humor and a palpable sense of cool. Combining horror chills, appealing supernatural drama, and swift action, the film is a thick, entertaining broth that profits from a memorable and magnetic protagonist.

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