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CONSTANTINE

About The Story
Imagine that life on earth exists in a state of détente, a balance between the forces of good and evil scrupulously maintained through the ages. Humans choose their own paths in this realm and, in doing so, seal their fates for the realm beyond; some bound for heaven and some for hell.

As part of this divine wager for all the souls in the world, both God and the devil are restricted from direct contact with the human race and its free will but are allowed a measure of influence through intermediaries. Neither fully angels nor demons, these earthbound influence peddlers are best described as half-breeds. "Suppose you were very good in life, or very bad. They wrap your soul up in human skin and send you back on missions,” explains John Constantine, a man who has literally been to hell and back.

In ordinary bodies these half-breeds slip freely through the human population, doing their work. They share the roads, hold jobs, engage in myriad relationships with their human hosts and no one is the wiser. "They look just like us,” says Constantine director Francis Lawrence. "You could live side by side with them, maybe even be married to one of them or be friends with them and never know it.”

But John Constantine can see them.

Since childhood, he's had the unique ability – he would call it a curse – to recognize these beings for what they truly are beneath their fragile tissue of disguise. He sees their true faces, either beatific or demonic. Driven to suicide, in his youth, by this terrifying burden that no one understood, Constantine hoped for the peace it would bring but got instead a 2-minute tour of the depths of hell, a nightmare beyond imagination, before being resuscitated and snapped back into life.

Since that moment, he's known the hellish fate that awaits him when his life on earth is ended, and has been trying desperately to change it. Finding the traditional path to salvation closed to him, he resolves to earn entrance to heaven by waging war on the demon half-breeds on earth. An expert in demonology and black magic as well as an accomplished con man when he wants to be, Constantine uses sacred relics as weapons, along with his wits, his fists and anything else at his disposal to send countless hordes back to the underworld in shreds.

But he is an unlikely hero. Spurred not by any benevolent intention, he battles evil only to buy his way into a heaven that is closed to him, and grows increasingly cynical as these efforts have no effect.

Constantine's strange circumstances and embittered attitude are part of what attracted Keanu Reeves to the story and its title role. "It is one of the best scripts I've read,” he says. "It has humor, intelligence, vitality, and I especially appreciated how everything was not obvious. There's mystery and contradiction. Constantine himself has a strong sense of morality yet his ethics are a little blurry. He's trying to right some wrongs but he doesn't always go about it in the nicest way. He's an anti-hero I've never seen before.”

Constantly tormenting the renegade exorcist are half-breed entities from both sides. The angelic Gabriel (TILDA SWINTON), God's gatekeeper on Earth, continually denies Constantine the salvation he so fervently pursues. Unmoved by Constantine's private war and aware of his selfish motives, Gabriel admonishes repeatedly – and none too sympathetically – that he cannot buy his way into heaven, while Satan's emissary Balthazar (GAVIN ROSSDALE) mocks his futile efforts and reminds him his days are numbered. Hearing of Constantine's recently diagnosed terminal lung cancer, Balthazar is beside himself with malevolent glee.

Among Constantine's few allies is Chaz (SHIA LaBEOUF), his faithful driver and wannabe apprentice. Fascinated by what he sees of Constantine's world, albeit from a safe distance, Chaz makes up for his lack of practical experie

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