Constantine - Verbal Diorama

Episode 26


Published on: 21st December, 2019

Keanu Reeves is often criticised for not "acting" enough in his movies. He may not be the John Constantine of comic book fans dreams, but with his literal devil-may-care attitude and cynical despondence on full display, I think he pretty much nails this John Constantine - a man at the end of his life, desperate to save enough souls from damnation so he can go to Heaven after a teenage suicide attempt leaves him with no option but to go to Hell.

Pair him with Rachel Weisz, (a woman who could make a movie of herself cooking eggs and I'd watch it), and her effervescent charm, it really is great to watch them together.

Religious subtexts aside, this is a movie about faith in humanity too. John's faith is restored by his dealings with Weisz's bereaved police detective Angela Dodson and although he becomes a hero, it's not really about his journey to heroism, more about giving the finger to authority and doing the right thing.

Listen, I know you know how much I loved Dredd for its ability to adapt its source material so effectively, and Constantine is not without source material (and a more faithful TV show), but if this movie was called anything else, it wouldn't be as derided as it unfortunately was. It still looks good after 15 years, and while some of the performances stand out as being less than hellblazing (I'm looking at you Gavin Rossdale!), Keanu's is pretty great actually - and I'm not the only person who thinks so (thankfully!)

I would love to hear your thoughts on Constantine! You can get in touch on

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About the Podcast

Verbal Diorama
The podcast on the history and legacy of movies you know, and movies you don't.
Are you interested in how movies are made? Do you wonder how a film went from conception to completion? If so Verbal Diorama, hosted by Em, is the podcast for you!

Movies are tough to make, and Verbal Diorama is here to celebrate the coming together of teams of extraordinary cast and crew, bringing us movies that inspire us, delight us, make us laugh, make us cry and petrify us. This podcast discovers the stories behind the scenes, and proves how amazing it is that movies actually exist!

Welcome to Verbal Diorama. The podcast all about the history and legacy of movies you know, and movies you don't! Subscribe on your favourite podcast app, and enjoy new episodes every week.
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About your host

Profile picture for Em .

Em .

Hi! I'm Em. I created Verbal Diorama in 2018, and launched the podcast in February 2019 to rapturous applause and acclaim.... from my cat Jess.

The modus operandi of Verbal Diorama is simple: movies are tough to make! The coming together of a team of people from all walks of life to make something to entertain, delight and educate us for 90+ mins is not an easy task, and yet so many succeed at it. That must be something to celebrate.

I'm here to do just that - to celebrate movies. Their history and legacy, and why they remain so special to so many of us.

Episodes are audibly book ended by Jess. She sadly passed away in March 2022, aged almost 18. She featured in many episodes of the podcast, and that's why you can hear her at the end of every episode. The role of official feline producer is now held by the comparatively quieter Evie.

I love podcasts, and listen to many, but never my own.

I unashamedly love The Mummy (1999) and Grease 2. I'm still looking for a cool rider.