Skip to comments.Constantine the Movie: Science Fiction or Anti-Catholic and Anarchist Propaganda?
Posted on 05/26/2005 8:56:29 PM PDT by CaptIsaacDavis
CONSTANTINE, TO THE RESCUE?
New Republican Archive -- April 2005
Has Warner Brothers finally released a film that takes Roman Catholic doctrine seriously? If you believe that then I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. WB is the firm that promoted the overtly anti-Christian and pro-Communist "revolutionary virtual" trilogy called The Matrix. That blockbuster science fiction trilogy starred Keanu Reeves in the role of a "Neo" (actually false) Jesus Christ who rejects Christian and Western culture in favor of Nihilistic revolution to save a Bolshevik-influenced "Zion" by imposing a revolutionary Eastern "order" controlled by an Indian goddess ("Sati") upon the "bourgeois" (quoting the Merovingian) capitalist commodities inside "the Matrix." Now Warner Brothers wants moviegoers to ante up for what promises to be the first of a series of films starring Keanu Reeves as, gee whiz another false Jesus Christ (here named "John Constantine" [JC for short]) who hurls Catholic dogma like swear words (and middle fingers to follow) to preserve a balance of power between Heaven and Hell. Yes, its been done before, but we just dont know yet whether notional sequels to Constantine will ultimately take viewers down the same path of anti-Western revolution as The Matrix.
At first blush, the film offers a radical interpretation of the "balance" and status quo between the realms of good, evil, and "finger-puppet" humanity (the latter is the description offered by one of Constantines associates). I guess being called a "puppet" (that old Communist epithet) beats being called a "bourgeois" "slave" in The Matrix. JC (Reeves) appears to represent the historical Constantine, that is, the emperor of Rome who converted the empire to Christianity after proclaiming to have seen a vision in the heavens that he might conquer in the name of Christ. Only here, "Constantine" is an "exorcist" camouflaged as a defender of a Westernized culture in America under attack from sinful people corrupted by "demons," including one demon named "Balthazar," who struts around like a banker complete with American flags and other Americana on television screens in his office. The latter demon is even played by the lead singer of the band named "Bush," Gavin Rossdale [a coincidence?]. Constantine takes that particular demon out with a shotgun shaped as a gold cross, full of shells made with blessed icons made out of gold and silver (symbolically hurling Americas wealth back in the face of the banker [who even gets his head shot off in a scene where Reeves character mocks the Catholic Churchs ritual for last rights]).
Does the character Constantine really "believe" what he preaches? No. Every scene prior to his aborted departure for Heaven makes clear that Constantine does not "believe" in God, hates dogma, and despises "rules" (he even tosses the Bible and its rules down violently in one scene). Indeed, "Gabriel" informs him that he "knows" rather than "believes," that is, until after his encounter with Lucipher. Constantines hatred is as much against "rules" as it is against the evils of BOTH Hell and "fallen" Angels like "Gabriel."
The Warner Brothers version of Constantine is aided by a parade of characters that mock the Catholic Church and Catholic faithful in America. First, JC is helped by a defrocked priest (played by Pruitt Taylor Vince), who is the films symbol of the American Catholic Church -- a sinful glutton (and grotesquely overweight). In the priests final scene he is chased out of a morgue like a psycho necrophiliac caught in the act only to drown himself in alcohol as Balthazar watches.
JC is also helped by a young apprentice cab driver named "Chaz Kramer" originally "Chas Chandler" (played by Mr. Shia LaBeouf) who dies in JCs battle with illegal immigrants from Hell as an "innocent" (quoting JC at his death [dont miss the ode to Kramer at the very end of the films credits]). Chaz, renamed "Kramer" and given a Brooklyn demeanor totally out of place in Los Angeles, seems to be intended as a symbol of Jews in America. Bizarrely, the film sequence of JC gunning down dozens of corrupt and possessed denizens of underground nightclubs in L.A., who had gathered to await the arrival of the Son of the Devil in a Catholic hospital, is preceded by Chazs use of a silver cross to "bless" a sprinkler systems water (via a device at the top of the building). That blessed holy water is then sent showering onto the demon-influenced inside the building.
The holy water gassing scene evoked images of the Nazi death camp at Majdanek, but comprehending its symbolic meaning depends upon an accurate understanding of just who the demons represent and who JC and his apprentice are really defending. So then, who were the demons getting metaphorically gassed by JC and Kramer before JC truly "believed" (implying that holy water gassing is a tactic that non-"believing" gentiles use) in the hospital? Look closely and you will find a cross-section of middle America. Many of them came from the underground night-club scene where nearly all of the patrons were middle class, even preppy, white Americans possessed by demons. Flash-forward to the water gassing scene in the hospital and you find a crowd peculiar for its close representation of a demographic profile of America. JC, it appears, is ready to turn the gas chambers on America and wield his shotgun to shoot down the truly "demonic" patriots, bankers, bikers, and beauties (symbols of American beauty are shown in the club scene turning martinis into a drink that looked like Coca-Cola). Lest one think that this analysis is a stretch, a check of the DC Comics/Vertigo series Hellblazer finds Constantine battling neo-Nazis in part by turning Nazi tactics on them. The comic book version of Constantine is an English blond blue-eyed character battling a "Damnation Army" constructed of former British neo-Nazis called "British Boys" (See Hellblazer #6 "Extreme Prejudice" by Jamie Delano).
Then, of course, there was the symbolic defiling of the Catholic hospital (complete with a huge cross outside a building shaped like a cross, along with a pool that features in the film shaped like a cross, of course). The hospital is where one character goes mad, and an abortion is performed. Yes, an abortion. The careful viewer would see in the scene of a demonic baby seeking to burst out of the new Marys belly a critique of the scene in the 1970s horror film the Exorcist, where two priests speak the traditional right of exorcism to remove a demon in possession of a body. Only here, in Constantine, JC not only stops a "Caesarian" birth by an evil and "fallen" arch-angel Gabriel, but also attempts to perform the exorcism to literally kill the Son of the Devil in the womb. It was an attempted abortion using Catholic doctrine that drew crude laughs for being so over-the-top anti-Catholic -- in the largely Catholic suburban community in metro-Boston that this author saw the movie in.
JC is also helped by an exorcist named "Beeman" (played by Max Baker) who has been reduced to living off a trade in religious trinkets (some of them familiar to viewers from certain Christian televangelists) tucked away behind an abandoned bowling alley, above which lives Constantine. This lower order "exorcist" served as an apparent "critique" of the televangelists marketing such trinkets to "bowlers" in America. In the end, Beeman dies after Balthazar (the symbolic patriotic American) causes flies to consume him like a piece of @#@#.
Constantine, the allegorical defender of Western civilization, lives in Los Angeles and screams in the film like a Border Patrol agent that he will "deport" the possessed back to Hell. He then proceeds to battle against a swarthy Mexican criminal who has come to Los Angeles to rape a white woman (who has psychic powers and is a twin, and thats all Ill write, because there are many wanton and obscure allegories in the plot line) and conceive the Son of the Devil. Along the way, John Constantine is assaulted in the middle of an L.A. boulevard named "Figueroa," by a "soldier demon," in a scene that invoked memories of the L.A. riot and what happened to a truck driver.
Rachel Weisz, who previously played the good little Stalinist lover of the hero in Enemy at the Gates, plays an annoyingly critical "Catholic" upset that the Catholic Church wont give her sister a proper burial because she committed suicide. Weiszs lines after returning from a brief entry into Hell courtesy of Constantine drowning her for a split second are utterly incomprehensible. Her character is ultimately targeted for corruption in a scene that symbolized a gang attack on a dark street in L.A. Her ultimate attacker, a Mexican who car-jacks a vehicle to drive to L.A. to rape her, carries with him the "spear of destiny," or the tip of the spear that a Roman soldier used to kill Jesus Christ. The movies story-line is that he will leave that spear while attacking her to conceive the anti-Christ.
That Son of the Devil will, in turn, be released by the "fallen" Archangel Gabriel (played by a woman here, Tilda Swinton, as a male-dressing lesbian version of the Biblical Archangel who announces and enables the births of John the Baptist and Mary). In this film, it is Gabriel who will use the spear to conduct a Caesarian birth. In the Christian Bible only the Gospel of Luke adopts the Jewish lore of the arch-angel Gabriel (since Luke was written to proselytize to and convert Hebrew sects), along with references to Michael and Raphael (the other two arch-angels of Jewish mythology, and one of the "seven" angels said to "stand before the Lord" (Tob., xii, 15)). It is Gabriel who appears to announce the births of John the Baptist and Mary and comfort JC (in the film Gabriel is shown strengthening JC, but with a vulgarity as a punch-line). In the Christian tradition, Gabriel is an angel of mercy (and incapable of "falling" in the manner shown in the film), while Michael is the angel of judgment. It is in the Jewish tradition that these symbols are reversed, as in the film Constantine, while Gabriel (in Daniel) is an angel foretelling the destruction of the enemies of the Jews (including the Persian Empire and Sodom, in one case after the appearance of a horned ram). Here, Gabriels encounter with "Lucifer" has her/him/shim/it calling the Devil a "little horn." Care to guess which empire one that includes L.A. -- is thus predicted to fall?
One might be tempted to imagine that the film was actually offering a sympathetic portrayal of an American Catholic in L.A. under attack from illegal immigrants from Hell. Far from it. Like the Matrix trilogy, theres a catch. Most of the character names and allegories are "critiques." To start with, JC isnt really Jesus Christ reincarnated. He is, according to the comic book series the film is based on, a crude anarchist who has tricked the three lords of Hell (including two we see in the film, Lucifer and Balthazar) into competing to control his soul and thereby extend his human life. The films Constantine extends this trickery to keeping "fallen" Angels and their "rules" at bay, as well. Constantine is also busy throughout the film "deporting" "soldier demons" from a Demonic Army controlled by Lucifer (the "human" version is played by Peter Stormare near the movies end). That is, he is trying to keep his non-"believing" rule-twisting human "plane" of existence free of both Hellish demons AND Angels capable of wreaking destruction and evil (Gabriel in the film) in an apparent "critique" illustrating the potential for certain Judeo-Christian symbols and "rules" to wreak havoc.
JC was in Hell the first time, the film explains, because he committed suicide after his normal (read "nuclear" white-bread and middle American) family put him into a mental institution for seeing the evil in American society. That is, JCs path to Hell was paved by the "Leave It To Beaver" world of middle-class America marginalizing a boy who could see the evil in certain Americans (on a bus, in particular). Thrust back onto our "plane," JC is beset, as any former citizen of Hell might be, with a fire in his body symbolized in the film by his chain-smoking and coughing. That is, until the Devil keeps him from being taken to Heaven and removes the sickness from his chest while declaring that he will give JC another chance to prove his soul belongs to Lucipher. In the comic books it is clearer that Constantine has an evil, good, and human side, where there is a Demon Constantine to his human Constantine, and that his personal struggle is to ensure that his human self casts enough evil to Hell to ensure his entry in Heaven upon his death.
This "balance" is maintained until what tips it? The film suggests it is a combination of Balthazars schemes (overtly and crudely portrayed as a possessed American patriot) and the "fall" of a "mad" feminized "half-breed" Gabriel (a metaphorical symbol of Judeo-Christian "rules," particularly those concerning sexual roles, creating madness and evil).
Nor is JC anti-immigrant. His protégé is a cab driver from Brooklyn. Constantine also gains the assistance of a Caribbean Voodoo witch doctor called Midnight (Djimon Honsou), who is running a "neutral" underground club for the corrupt and possessed. In the comic book series, this sanctuary is run by a man named Ray Monde, who has AIDS. The casting call for the movie also reportedly intended to have the "criminal" rapist with the spear role represent an escapee from a Turkish prison. Somewhere along the line this was changed to the Mexican-looking figure, which no doubt confused some viewers about whether JC was anti-immigrant as he "deported" the evil back to Hell (and led some reviewers to trash the movie out of a knee-jerk political correctness). In fact, the only "PC" was in the film when Balthazar, portrayed as an uber-patriotic American with flags flying on tv screens, is slaughtered by JC. Moreover, prior to Kramers gaining of his wings in the final sequence (at the end of the credits), the only "angel" influencing people for good is shown to be a Mexican immigrant store clerk kneeling down over the dead defrocked priest. Before going further, one need only read that the producers included Lauren Donner of X-Men (a classic of 1990s multi-cultural propaganda) and screenplay writers included Kevin Brodbin (of Steven Seagals "The Glimmer Man"), to realize that this was going to be more Hollywood "PC."
The film itself mocks the Passion and death of Christ. JC declares himself repeatedly to have been re-born out of Hell (after committing suicide), and destined for Hell again, while also disavowing any "faith" or "belief" in God. That is, rather than acting as a Son of God, this films JC is a militantly agnostic Son of Man, re-born out of sin (an anti-baptist). JCs destiny of going back to Hell is reversed by his "sacrifice" to save the life of his anarchist (to hell with the "rules") female co-lead named "Angela Dodson" (A.D.), who is played by Weisz. The difference here is that JC in this revolutionary virtual cinema propaganda exercise commits suicide rather than inciting earthly powers to reveal their inherent evil and lawlessness and murder him. What are the films writers, director, and producers driving at here? Could it be that they mean what they are showing, and propose that the allegorical Son of God and defender of Western civilization, Constantine, and all of those who believe in what they created on this "plane" of existence, all go kill themselves?
It is A.D. who becomes Gabriels metaphorical Mary for the Son of the Devil. Only here, A.D. is also a murderer (with the job of law enforcement agent [in a swipe at the LAPD]) who feels the need to constantly seek forgiveness through confession for her killings (and not necessarily all properly in the line of duty). Mary the Murderer thus asks the non-"believing" JC to abort the Son of the Devil, while JC is forced to use a symbol on his arms to prompt the "fall" of Gabriel, who in turn attempts to conduct a Caesarian birth to bring forth the Son of the Devil. In the end, there is no redemption, no faith, no goodness that results from any of this. Only "extension" (Lucipher to JC) before the inevitable rule of Hell on Earth. Then, after all of the ridicule and mocking of Catholic Doctrine and middle America, the ultimate "hero" in the film the Brooklynite agnostic "Kramer" (who mocks, along with JC, Midnights praying in one scene) -- gets his wings. Woah...
So who is JC, really? The answer is in the symbol he uses when crossing his arms together to bring down Gabriel. They combine to obscure interior elements to make an "A" (with what looked like bolts of lighting [Nordic socialist symbols]) with a circle around it all. Thats the symbol of Anarchists (going back to the Spanish Civil War at least) that JC wields with a fury to unleash Gabriel. In this context, Warner Brothers brings Constantine into its rapidly expanding portfolio of propaganda tracts for left-wing and anti-Christian political Nihilism and Anarchy (along with The Matrix films, and many others hostile to Christianity and Western traditions). Theres no doubt about it. Hollywood continues to unleash Hell upon younger generations.
I'd like to know the list of controlled substances this clown was taking when he was watching the Matrix movies.
The ability of the new "perpetually indignant" (a term PJ O'Rourke coined for perpetually whiny and offended leftists, but unfortunately it now seems there are plenty on the Religious Right) to find an anti-Christian agenda when none exists is astounding.
(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
No kidding. And writing style is so turgid. Change a few words around, and this could be a screed from a Communist Party Newsletter.
Wow. I can't wait to miss this one.
(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
Actually I suspect this guy never saw any of the Matrix movies and somehow put together his synopsis from some other fevered morons.
The movie made me laugh, it was too silly to take that seriously.
sounds like a cool movie
There is a lot of anti-US and anti-Christian bias in films,but i don't see the parallels the author is trying to draw with the Matrix.Maybe i'm just not "deep" enough.When Hollywood wants to make a political statement it's usually pretty blatant.BTW i haven't seen Matrix2 yet.I heard it's not very good.
Coming soon: Garfield the Cat: Harmless yet sarcastic house tabby or evil anti-Christian Communist Pussy?!
Way too many words about a bunch of crappy movies.
Say WHAT?? I read it just the opposite: you live in a system wherein the government takes care of your body while feeding off your energy (socialism). The real world is a lot uglier, but it's real and you're free.
But okay, whatever.
Not to mention that he claims (twice) Gabriel announces the birth of Mary? In a word, No.
You mean like some otherwise-hot actresses?
Heh, heh...exactly! ;o)
Ping to self for later pingout?
This dude is seriously wacked out.