"Constantine"’s biggest mistake

How many mainstream critics will accept, without a second thought, the fundamental boo-boo of Keanu Reeves’ Constantine?

Richard Corliss happily volunteers:

In this adaptation of a renowned graphic novel, Reeves is an L.A. detective whose job involves casting devils out of Angelenos. (He’s the detexorcist!) He has to deal with both demons and angels, who in the normal state of affairs influence humans without directly interfering. But now, with the discovery of a long-lost artifact–the spear that killed Jesus on Calvary–the familiar rules don’t apply, and an Armageddon- like battle is on.

That’s right. “The spear that killed Jesus on Calvary.”

Perhaps they don’t know the Greatest Story Ever Told as thoroughly as they think they do. Perhaps they weren’t paying very close attention to The Passion of the Christ.

Quick! A bumper sticker! “Spears don’t kill Messiahs. Crosses do!”

(Uh oh. Now I’ve done it! I can hear the the emails coming … “Crosses don’t kill Messiahs either. People do.”)

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, LookingCloser.org. His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at facebook.com/jeffreyoverstreethq.


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