The Movie "Constantine"


#1

Last night I went with one of my friends to see the still-playing movie, Constantine.I went with the expectation that the movie probably would not portray Catholicism accurately, but what I discovered was anti-Catholicism of the basest sort. In fact, the movie was not just anti-Catholic, but anti-Christian in general. The movie did not only misrepresent Catholic/Christian views, but it mocked and held them in contempt.

Although the examples of this hate propaganda are too many to relate, there are several that especially disgust me:

  1. The exorcist (the main character) is an individual who curses and has no faith in God.
  2. The exorcist, in ascending to heaven, gives the middle finger to the Devil.
  3. An angel drops the F-bomb.
  4. The exorcist performs last rites on a demon.
  5. The God and the Devil are not considered as Good/Evil respectively. They are rather portrayed as two equal forces, like two equally-vicious sides on a WWI battlefield with innocent earthlings stuck in no-man’s land. One gets the feeling that God doesn’t really care about humans. Somewhat Dualistic.
  6. A (Jesuit?) priest says that he (nor any priest, it is presumed) can perform a funeral mass for a girl who comitted suicide. Catholic doctrine is misrepresented here in the suggestion that all suicides go to hell.
  7. There is a hellish Bible that contains verses not found in the Christian Bible
  8. Christ is described as only being killed when struck with the “Spear of Destiny.”
  9. God is referred to as an hypocrit
  10. The “good Catholic girl” who commits suicide also involved herself with Ouija.

These are just a few of them. I strongly recommend NOT to see this movie, as it is the most repulsive anti-Catholic movie I’ve ever seen. I can stomach Jack Chick because his comics are humorous in that they claim to present authentic truths that are easily refuted by simple common sense, but this movie, although meant for entertainment, also has a scary underlying anti-Christian, anti-theistic agenda behind it, even if this agenda was not formally spelled out by the creators of the movie.

Has anyone else seen this movie? What are your thoughts on this movie and how it will affect society’s concepts of Catholicism and Christianity?

Personally I think it’s absurd that a movie like the Passion is shot down by many as being anti-Semitic, whereas movies like Constantine, which are so much more blatantly prejudical, are just considered innocent enertainment.


#2

I’d be more concerned with the film Kingdom of Heaven by Ridley Scott which does claim to be historical. It is about the Crusades.

The script depicts Baldwin’s brother-in-law, Guy de Lusignan, who succeeds him as King of Jerusalem, as “the arch-villain”. A further group, “the Brotherhood of Muslims, Jews and Christians”, is introduced, promoting an image of cross-faith kinship. “They were working together,” the film’s spokesman said. “It was a strong bond until the Knights Templar cause friction between them.”

The Knights Templar, the warrior monks, are portrayed as “the baddies” while Saladin, the Muslim leader, is a “a hero of the piece”, Sir Ridley’s spokesman said. “At the end of our picture, our heroes defend the Muslims, which was historically correct.” (my emphasis)

Here is what the experts say:

Prof Riley-Smith, who is Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Cambridge University, said the plot was “complete and utter nonsense”. He said that it relied on the romanticised view of the Crusades propagated by Sir Walter Scott in his book The Talisman, published in 1825 and now discredited by academics.

Prof Riley-Smith added that Sir Ridley’s efforts were misguided and pandered to Islamic fundamentalism. “It’s Osama bin Laden’s version of history. It will fuel the Islamic fundamentalists.”

His movies tend to be quite successful (as opposed to Constantine which appears to have not done very well), so maybe this movie will be of more concern.

Story here.


#3

You know, this is a very sad situation. I was recently approached by a friend of mine who is a Methodist who recently saw the movie. He is not particularly on fire about Christianity, yet he had some interesting comments about Catholicism. He asked me if we believed that anyone who commits suicide will go to Hell. I said no. He also asked me if we really go into ‘that confession box thing.’ I said yes. He didn’t ask any more questions, which scared me, since Hollywood has never overtly been friendly to the Catholic Church. He then went on to say that I should see the movie since practically every character in the movie is Catholic and it’d be ‘close to home.’ I didn’t know what to say, since I hadn’t seen the movie. I did make it clear that Hollywood likes to represent Catholicism in its own light, a very dark one. Anyways, I really hope this movie bombs with such distortions like that. Evil telling those misinformed what the Church ‘really is.’ Sad sad stuff.

In sadness (and prayer for change in Hollywood)
ak_mike:mad:


#4

True a work like the Kingdom of Heaven which proports to be a Historical film based on Historical events and misreprents catholcism is vastly more damaging than a work of fiction that is clearly non-historical like Constantine.

Hollwyood does Catholcism and Christians in general no favors since the downfall of the traditional Hollwood films that ended during the mid 1960’s since those time Hollwood has increasing been anti-catholic and christian gone are the days of Ben Hur, the 10 commandments and the Sound of Music which where friendly towards religious people. That’s why the the Movie The Passion was such an anomally imagine putting a pro-christian film out in movie theatres? Imagine the shock to do such a thing well millions of dollars later we know christians were starving to see a pro-christian film out in the theatres. To answer this Hollwood is in talks to do 0 faith based films that are pro-christian but hey they are busy at making the Kingdom of Heaven which promises to be pro Muslim and of course the Davinci Code is in the works which promises to be pure-anti-catholic trash not scene since the movie Dogma.


#5

WOW. Don’t even bring up the movie Dogma. That was such trash I can’t even put it into words.

Again, very sadly
ak_mike


#6

I think the movie Davinci Code could make the movie Dogma seem almost Orthodox.


#7

I seen this movie as well I considered it a waste of what could have been a good movie despite the very poor theology represented it can be used as an instrument (in conversations with others)to let people know who Christ is, the reality of Hell, and the importance attendening Mass and having a relationship with Christ.

1)Very good images of hell were portrayed in the movie.
2)Very good explanation of importantance of faith given by a lady portraying an Angel.despite the very poor taste unfortanate profanity.
3)At the end very good character description of the devil despite the very poor taste vulgar gestures

[quote=Madaglan]Last night I went with one of my friends to see the still-playing movie, Constantine.I went with the expectation that the movie probably would not portray Catholicism accurately, but what I discovered was anti-Catholicism of the basest sort. In fact, the movie was not just anti-Catholic, but anti-Christian in general. The movie did not only misrepresent Catholic/Christian views, but it mocked and held them in contempt.

Although the examples of this hate propaganda are too many to relate, there are several that especially disgust me:

  1. The exorcist (the main character) is an individual who curses and has no faith in God.
  2. The exorcist, in ascending to heaven, gives the middle finger to the Devil.
  3. An angel drops the F-bomb.
  4. The exorcist performs last rites on a demon.
  5. The God and the Devil are not considered as Good/Evil respectively. They are rather portrayed as two equal forces, like two equally-vicious sides on a WWI battlefield with innocent earthlings stuck in no-man’s land. One gets the feeling that God doesn’t really care about humans. Somewhat Dualistic.
  6. A (Jesuit?) priest says that he (nor any priest, it is presumed) can perform a funeral mass for a girl who comitted suicide. Catholic doctrine is misrepresented here in the suggestion that all suicides go to hell.
  7. There is a hellish Bible that contains verses not found in the Christian Bible
  8. Christ is described as only being killed when struck with the “Spear of Destiny.”
  9. God is referred to as an hypocrit
  10. The “good Catholic girl” who commits suicide also involved herself with Ouija.

These are just a few of them. I strongly recommend NOT to see this movie, as it is the most repulsive anti-Catholic movie I’ve ever seen. I can stomach Jack Chick because his comics are humorous in that they claim to present authentic truths that are easily refuted by simple common sense, but this movie, although meant for entertainment, also has a scary underlying anti-Christian, anti-theistic agenda behind it, even if this agenda was not formally spelled out by the creators of the movie.

Has anyone else seen this movie? What are your thoughts on this movie and how it will affect society’s concepts of Catholicism and Christianity?

Personally I think it’s absurd that a movie like the Passion is shot down by many as being anti-Semitic, whereas movies like Constantine, which are so much more blatantly prejudical, are just considered innocent enertainment.
[/quote]


#8

I bet 'ya this movie will earn the Oscar awards/nomination.

Pio


#9

I pray that Mel Gibson makes another movie about the Early Christians. Probably like the Martyrs of the Early Church.

Pio


#10

We saw Constantine over the weekend too. And I’m not defending Hollywood, but I just wanted to make a couple of comments here.

  1. The exorcist (the main character) is an individual who curses and has no faith in God.

It is explained that it is a gift/curse to be able to see the devils or angels in “our plane” but more importantly - the HALF-breeds of part-angels/part-human and part-demon/part-human that exist in our plane.

  1. The exorcist, in ascending to heaven, gives the middle finger to the Devil.

I agree - not needed. I am more concerned that Keanu is again put in a situation where he gets to be in the “savior” position of arms outstretched ala Matrix. There’s plenty of other lines in this movie that seemed like silly, out-of-place one-liners. But I digress.

  1. An angel drops the F-bomb.

Gabriel - while using the angel’s name we all know well - in this movie is a half-breed. The main character makes this plain by calling her “Half-breed” as an insult. So she is not portraying an angel directly from heaven. Anyone who hasn’t seen the movie will be happy to know she gets what’s coming to her in the end.

  1. The exorcist performs last rites on a demon.

He does this to get an answer out of him - but makes it plain once he gets the answer that “One cannot receive absolution without grace.” Amen.

  1. The God and the Devil are not considered as Good/Evil respectively. They are rather portrayed as two equal forces, like two equally-vicious sides on a WWI battlefield with innocent earthlings stuck in no-man’s land. One gets the feeling that God doesn’t really care about humans. Somewhat Dualistic.

But remember that Satan could not do what he wanted, which was bring the demons directly to our plane and cause the “birth” of his son WITHOUT God - or something of God, which in this movie is the spear that is supposedly found. This still shows the submission of all creation to the will of God.

  1. A (Jesuit?) priest says that he (nor any priest, it is presumed) can perform a funeral mass for a girl who comitted suicide. Catholic doctrine is misrepresented here in the suggestion that all suicides go to hell.

Ok, so I seriously ask here, because I thought all suicides did go to hell. Do they not?

  1. There is a hellish Bible that contains verses not found in the Christian Bible

Not much to say here, except what I’ll say at the end.

  1. Christ is described as only being killed when struck with the “Spear of Destiny.”

Yes, and I have to say this provided me with a great opportunity to explain to my husband that this was not the case. And was able to recall the scene of when the soldiers went and found Jesus already dead, and thus they did not break his legs, but did spear him. Consider it an evangelical opportunity to set the record straight.

  1. God is referred to as an hypocrit

The opinion of one person in the movie. Many people think this about God. Are we doing anything to help those people - in the real world? Another opportunity to help real people see the Light?

  1. The “good Catholic girl” who commits suicide also involved herself with Ouija.

It was said that she did this when she was younger, teenage years. If truly a “good Catholic girl” then she went to confession and repented and did not continue the usage. But how do we know?

Finally, I just want to say that I am not attempting to defend Hollywood or say this was a good movie. However, I am saying that it is a MOVIE, based on a COMIC BOOK, interestingly enough, and that I believe Hollywood enjoys twisting religion and perpetuating stereotypes or misinformation.

We should take this as an opportunity to educate the people in our lives - not by attacking, but by providing the truth.

=)
Fiz


#11

aside from all of the catholic doctrinal errors in the move, it was bad. the plot was hard to follow and it didn’t make much sence. many characters in the movie had no purpose and it seemed that they expected the viewers to know more, maybe from the comic book.

on the bright side, the character who was the devil was very good and they did a good job on depicting hell and the reality of good vs. evil. i would not recommend this movie until it comes out on video.


#12

<<Ok, so I seriously ask here, because I thought all suicides did go to hell. Do they not?>>

ok correct me if im wrong but i believe the correct doctrine lies in that a priest can perform such a funeral because it is impossible to know the individual’s state of mind, and if they had a mental illness then obviously God would not hold that against htem, and sometimes suicides do not die immediately (ie overdosing) and thus may have time to make a deathbed return to God as everyone else. bottom line, no one can know the state of the person, no matter how they died, but God, and He is the perfect judge. so therefore, they perform the funeral, and they will simply be judged at the end of time liek everybody else


#13

I saw the movie, and I enjoyed it though I didn’t go expecting Oscar material to begin with. Although the “list” has already been addressed, I want to give my own take.

  1. He’s never held up as a good guy, just as a guy who has a “gift” at seeing and getting rid of demons. While there’s no indication that he is ordained as a priest (though he might have been illicitly, I don’t know the comic well enough), it’s important to remember that Sacraments don’t depend on the holyness of the person enacting them, only their authority. In fact, believing that Sacraments are affected by the personal holyness of the individual performing them is heresy.

  2. Not needed, but fitting his personality. I don’t see anything “mortally sinful” in this action, so it didn’t bother me too much.

  3. This didn’t bother me at all. Disregarding the fact that the Angel in question gets what’s coming to them in the end, there’s nothing espescially evil about the way it’s done. Cussing isn’t holy, but it’s not necessarily damning either. The way people talked during the Middle Ages was positively blasphemous compared to even secular language in the U.S. often times, even people of the cloth. Being a potty-mouth isn’t a virtue, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t have issues with supposedly “holy people” dropping a “bad word” now and then. It wasn’t used in a blasphemous way. That’s just me.

  4. Correction, he tricks the ignorant demon into thinking that he’s performing Last Rites. Nothing wrong here, IMO, as he even recognizes the reality of the Sacrament after he’s pulled one over on the demon. It was one of the few instances in the movie where my discomfort at the misrepresentation of Catholic practice was laid to rest immediately within the same seen. The whole time I was thinking “He can’t do that, he just can’t do that,” and then he comes out and says, “Silly, I can’t do that for you.” :stuck_out_tongue:

  5. I take it you didn’t stay past the credits. Yes, this attitude is brought up through the whole film by the characters, but the “real” ending blows that idea out of the water completely. I’ll happily “ruin” it if you’d like, but I will say that the post-credits ending put to rest 90% of my problems with the movie’s presentation of Catholicism.

  6. I’ve actually heard this myself, and I’ve heard of Catholics not being allowed to be buried in Catholic Cemetaries after a suicide, and this was within the last 10 years. I thought it was harsh given the circumstances presented in the movie, but it didn’t strike me as necessarily against Church dogma. Perhaps this is a matter that is up to the jurisdiction of the diocese.

  7. I found this annoying as well. I would have rather the passage not come from an actual book of Scripture, but perhaps an Apocraphal text like Enoch. The Church doesn’t claim that ALL revelations of God are within the Bible, but the movie didn’t have to suggest that we got the Bible wrong.

  8. Poor history, IMO, nothing more.

  9. As others have said, lots of people feel this way. The “real” ending absolutely shatters this perception, however, and shows just how wrong those opinions were the whole time.

  10. Can’t say what you thought was wrong with this. Lots of “good Catholic kids” make mistakes, and even commit mortal sins. The character in question is never held up as a paragon of Catholic virtue except in the opinion of her sister in the film. Let’s not forget that this “good Catholic girl” DOES wind up in Hell after her death.

If you guys want to know the “kicker ending”, just let me know and I’ll post it. It definately solves a lot of the problems, though not all of them. Personally I would have absolutely hated the film without it, and now I just consider it an enjoyable waste of a couple hours, so I’d say it’s pretty important.


#14

Ok, you’ve got my interest. We almost always leave when the credits roll, unless we’ve heard otherwise (like when Pixar rolls outtakes of cga films)

So what’s the post-credit ending?

=)
Fiz


#15

Constantine goes to pay his respects to his “little helper” who died in the last battle, the guy who was driving him around the whole movie. As Constantine turns away from the headstone and starts walking away, the camera pans back and the “helper” is perched on the headstone with a glow around him, and huge angelic wings. He has a Seraphic grin on his face, and then flies away. Constantine hears the noise of the wings and just smiles and shakes his head with his back still turned to the headstone; it’s clear that he didn’t see him perching there the second before.

My interpretation:

So, God wasn’t absent at all, God was simply playing it subtle. God sent the angel to influence Constantine and lightly guide him in the right direction (remember when the “helper” makes the suggestion for using the crosses to bless the water in the building?) I got the impression that Heaven was simply standing back and letting humanity do as much as it could in the fight, and giving the essential “boost” (such as the cross suggestion) when necessary. With a full-fledged angel working with Constantine the whole time (unbeknownst to ANYONE in the film), God had a direct hand in the events and wasn’t going to let anything go astray. Once again He let Hell play its games and turn upon itself, and made sure that Constantine was in the right place at the right time, allowing Constantine to make the free-choice for Good for once in his life while still preserving the world from the armies of Hell. God was guiding events from the onset, and just ensured that the greatest possible good (salvation for Constantine, AND stopping Hell’s plot) could come from the seemingly negative and/or random events. I found it very uplifting, similar to the ending of the Prophecy Trilogy.


#16

Fizendell,

Just want to add a few comments. I agree with most of what you wrote, and I admire some of your insights which I missed while watching the movie:

Originally Quoted by Fizendell:

It is explained that it is a gift/curse to be able to see the devils or angels in “our plane” but more importantly - the HALF-breeds of part-angels/part-human and part-demon/part-human that exist in our plane.

Gabriel - while using the angel’s name we all know well - in this movie is a half-breed. The main character makes this plain by calling her “Half-breed” as an insult. So she is not portraying an angel directly from heaven. Anyone who hasn’t seen the movie will be happy to know she gets what’s coming to her in the end.

Correct: the “angels” are only half-angels, or “half-breeds,” as they are called in the movie. However, if one were to judge from a hierarchal understanding, the half-breed angels should be slightly more holy than the humans; but from my own perception, the half-breed Gabriel is portrayed as far less holy than the human girl who killed herself.

Originally Quoted by Fizendell:

He does this to get an answer out of him - but makes it plain once he gets the answer that “One cannot receive absolution without grace.” Amen.

Yes, that is true, but the fact that the exorcist, who is not a priest, should even perform the actions of a sacrament on a demon is absurd and sacreligious, regardless of the message about grace. The sacraments should be treated with gravity and should not be treated with the levity they are in the movie.

Originally Quoted by Fizendell:

But remember that Satan could not do what he wanted, which was bring the demons directly to our plane and cause the “birth” of his son WITHOUT God - or something of God, which in this movie is the spear that is supposedly found. This still shows the submission of all creation to the will of God.

It indeed does in that respect. But, you have to remember that the Spear is referred to as the object which ultimately killed Christ (rather than the object which showed that He was already dead, as described by Holy Scriptures). There also is the Satanic Bible, which has extra prophetic verses not included in the regular Bible. Overall, the viewer gets the impression that revelation through the Bible is not entirely true, and that God in speaking to man through Scriptures has lied to mankind, which is a wrong idea.

Originally Quoted by Fizendell:

Ok, so I seriously ask here, because I thought all suicides did go to hell. Do they not?

CCC 2283: We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for person who have taken their own lives.

Recently, a young Catholic man in my area committed suicide, and the priest did not refuse to perform a Catholic funeral.

Maybe before Vatican II thoughts were different about the salvation of suicides.

Originally Quoted by Fizendell:

The opinion of one person in the movie. Many people think this about God. Are we doing anything to help those people - in the real world? Another opportunity to help real people see the Light?

Agreed. However, the opinion is somewhat backed up by the empirical situation of a truce in which both sides are breaking by introducing half-breeds.

Originally Quoted by Fizendell:

It was said that she did this when she was younger, teenage years. If truly a “good Catholic girl” then she went to confession and repented and did not continue the usage. But how do we know?

You’re right, we don’t know. If she were consistently as devout as the beginning portrayed her, then she probably stopped playing with Ouija. But we just don’t know.

There might be additional anti-Catholicism in the common assumption held by many non-Catholics that Catholics break the commandment not to contact spirits when they pray for the dead and ask the saints to intercede for them. The girl can act as a symbol for the “good Catholic”–one who goes to confession twice a month, goes to church reguarily, but who nontheless contacts spirits against the Old Testament mandates. That might be a long shot, but I thought this when I saw the movie.


#17

Originally Quoted by Ghosty:

If you guys want to know the “kicker ending”, just let me know and I’ll post it. It definately solves a lot of the problems, though not all of them. Personally I would have absolutely hated the film without it, and now I just consider it an enjoyable waste of a couple hours, so I’d say it’s pretty important.

Yes, please give the kicker ending. I didn’t stay past the credits.


#18

Kicker ending is in post #15. God’s force is not as underrepresented as it appears :smiley:


#19

Yes, that is true, but the fact that the exorcist, who is not a priest, should even perform the actions of a sacrament on a demon is absurd and sacreligious, regardless of the message about grace. The sacraments should be treated with gravity and should not be treated with the levity they are in the movie.

He might be a priest, actually, at least an illicitly ordained one. There is a lot from the comic that isn’t in the movie, and this might be one of those things. Honestly I’m just speculating here. Besides, Constantine is never portrayed as a “good and holy guy”, so faking a Last Rite when he doesn’t have the authority is pretty much right up his alley. Heck, it wasn’t a real Last Rite from the get go, as he so mockingly asserts when the ruse is finished.

EDIT: Remember, Constantine is not a hero, he’s an “anti-hero”. He doesn’t represent any heroic virtues.


#20

Originally Quoted by Ghosty:

So, God wasn’t absent at all, God was simply playing it subtle. God sent the angel to influence Constantine and lightly guide him in the right direction (remember when the “helper” makes the suggestion for using the crosses to bless the water in the building?) I got the impression that Heaven was simply standing back and letting humanity do as much as it could in the fight, and giving the essential “boost” (such as the cross suggestion) when necessary. With a full-fledged angel working with Constantine the whole time (unbeknownst to ANYONE in the film), God had a direct hand in the events and wasn’t going to let anything go astray. Once again He let Hell play its games and turn upon itself, and made sure that Constantine was in the right place at the right time, allowing Constantine to make the free-choice for Good for once in his life while still preserving the world from the armies of Hell. God was guiding events from the onset, and just ensured that the greatest possible good (salvation for Constantine, AND stopping Hell’s plot) could come from the seemingly negative and/or random events. I found it very uplifting, similar to the ending of the Prophecy Trilogy.

Overall, I tend to agree with that analysis. I do believe, as you have written, that the movie does suggest that God was behind everything that happened in the movie. However, I think that the obscenities throughout the movie tend to detract from the impact of this message. If there weren’t so many obscenities then that message might have had a greater impact.


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