Through A Cross, Darkly

Main Cast: Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weitz, Shia LaBeouf, Tilda Swinton

Director: Francis Lawrence

Stylish and pretty, this tale of horror and redemption unfolds slowly for an action film, with no major battles until the very end. The story, while pointing to the end of the world and hell on earth, somehow manages to remain personal and contained within a number of complex, well-defined characters.

The main character is John Constantine (Reeves), a sullen and cynical man who, as the story opens, drives out an actual demon from the body of a young girl. Apparently he has the gift to see them and deal with them, usually violently. At some time in the past he did something bad and now his goal is to go “up” rather than “down”. No easy task, as told to him by the angel Gabriel (Swinton). But Constantine decides to try.

He is pulled into a new mystery by a police detective named Angela Dodson (Weitz), who believes the death of her twin sister isn’t suicide. While investigating this mystery they run into numerous demons and other supernatural forces, leading up to a global horror.

I can see why this movie is receiving an iffy reception. It’s dark and, while philosophical, doesn’t spend too much time on “deep” subjects. It’s an action film first, and with great special effects and a brisk plot, certainly delivers. I think it’s worth watching, not for Reeves’ rather minimalist performance, but for the visuals and the ideas of good and evil on Earth.

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