By Paul Shirey
The ending is explained for 2005’s adaptation of the DC anti-hero Constantine, as played by Keanu Reeves and directed by Francis Lawrence.
The 2005 movie Constantine has a complex ending, with a major plot twist that deserves some deeper analysis as talk about Constantine 2 swirls. The DC Comics adaptation stars Keanu Reeves as John Constantine, a.k.a. Hellblazer, an occult detective and sorcerer who spends his days fighting demons, spirits, and other supernatural elements in a constant struggle between Earth, Heaven, and Hell.
The plot of Constantine, like its source material, involves the supernatural underworld. After Isabel Dodson takes her own life, her twin sister, Angela, seeks answers, eventually enlisting Constantine to help her find them. He unravels the mystery of why Isabel killed herself and the greater danger that it presents, namely the coming of Lucifer's son, Mammon, who seeks to rule over Earth. As with most supernatural beings, there are ritualistic needs that must be met to ensure Mammon's arrival: these include the help of a divine being (the Angel Gabriel), a psychic vessel (Isabel or Angela), and a spiritual weapon (The Spear of Destiny). Constantine and Angela race against the clock to stop Mammon's arrival and find redemption — not just for Isabel but also for Constantine, who is facing imminent death as well as a return to Hell.
SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
Related: Keanu Reeves’ Constantine 2 Continues DC’s Justice League Dark Problem
There's a lot to break down with the ahead-of-its-time Constantine, which is soaked in the lore and mythology of the supernatural, making for a fun, compelling, and eerie journey that all comes to a head at the end, with a climax set at the psychiatric hospital where Isabel ends her life. After Angela is kidnapped and nearly overtaken by Mammon with the help of Gabriel, Constantine cleverly finds a way toward salvation, which is a complicated thing to achieve. Constantine is an intricate tale of redemption that provides a lot of pieces to mull over by the time everything plays out in its ending scenes.
Why Angela’s Twin Killed Herself
At the beginning of Constantine, Isabel, the twin sister of Angela, kills herself by jumping off the roof of the psychiatric hospital where she's been residing. The motive behind her suicide remains a mystery throughout much of the movie. Eventually, it's explained that Mammon, the son of Satan, is attempting to leave Hell and establish a kingdom on Earth, and he can only do this through a powerful psychic like Isabel. In order to stop Mammon from using her as his vessel, she takes her own life. Due to her Catholic beliefs, Isabel goes to Hell for death by suicide, even though she kills herself to stop a greater evil.
With the help of Constantine, Angela attempts to uncover this mystery, realizing that she also possesses psychic abilities, which Constantine helps release. The problem is that it immediately attracts Mammon to Angela, as she shares the twin connection with Isabel, picking up right where he left off in his attempt to come to Earth before Isabel killed herself.
What Is The Spear Of Destiny (& Why Did Gabriel Need it)?
In Christianity, The Spear of Destiny, also known as The Holy Lance, is an actual religious relic. The Bible describes it as the spear used by a Roman soldier to stab Jesus while he was being crucified on the cross, ensuring that he was dead. The real Spear of Destiny is currently displayed in the Imperial Treasury at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria. During World War II, the Nazis took the artifact, and although it was later officially returned, many believe the object on display to be a forgery, suggesting that the real Spear of Destiny is lost or hidden.
In the movie Constantine, the "true" Spear of Destiny is discovered by a man (Jesse Ramirez) digging under an abandoned Mexican church, where it is wrapped in a Nazi flag. The man falls into a trance and is suddenly compelled to take it to Los Angeles, where it will be used by Gabriel (Tilda Swinton) to perform the ceremony that will bring Mammon to Earth. Gabriel needs the Spear of Destiny because it is a divine object (as it has the blood of Christ on it), which is needed to "kill" Angela and bring Mammon to Earth through her body. For the comic adaptation, it's essentially a MacGuffin, serving as a piece of the puzzle to complete the ceremony, but its journey to Gabriel heightens the suspense.
Why Gabriel Was Trying To Unleash Hell On Earth
The complex plot by Archangel Gabriel (also seen in CW's Supernatural) can be confusing, but it ultimately boils down to his belief that humanity only ever finds its "nobler self" by way of horror and pain. By unleashing Hell on Earth, Gabriel believes that those who survive the ensuing horrific existence will have truly proven themselves worthy of God's love and, ultimately, a place in Heaven. Gabriel's intentions are ultimately the driving force of Constantine's plot, from the use of Balthazar the demon to find a host for Mammon to be reborn (via Isabel/Angela) to the discovery and delivery of the Spear of Destiny. Gabriel is really at the heart of it all.
For whatever reason, Gabriel is living a powerful existence on Earth and has seemingly swayed when it comes to his mission for God, developing a general disdain for humanity that leads to his plan to unleash Hell on them. Gabriel's mission isn't born of compassion or understanding, but rather an egomaniacal delusion that humans need to suffer more in order to attain God's love, as he believes salvation is far too easy for them. In essence, Gabriel is wanting to institute genocide on all of humanity, basically to prove that they need to be more grateful and thankful for the gift of life, even if his plans are to make them suffer through it.
Related: HBO Max's Constantine Reboot Scrapped In Favor Of Keanu Reeves Movie
How Constantine Tricked Satan
After temporarily stopping Mammon from possessing Angela completely, Gabriel suddenly appears, killing Constantine's partner, Chas, before being revealed. He announces his plans to Constantine (who is related to The Sandman's Johanna Constantine), then tosses him away and prepares to pierce Angela's flesh with the Spear of Destiny to unleash Mammon. Constantine then does the only thing he can think of to stop Gabriel: he calls Satan. Slashing his wrists with shattered glass, Constantine kills himself for the second time, summoning Lucifer, who appears personally to take him back to Hell. Having already taken his own life as a child, Constantine is damned to Hell forever, which is why he carries out his self-imposed mission to stop the spread of demons and evil spirits, hoping to earn his way back into Heaven. Alas, the exorcising of Lucifer's demons created a bitter hatred for Constantine, with the Devil himself saying he would come to claim the man's soul when his time came.
On the verge of death, Keanu Reeves's Constantine tells Lucifer that in the next room is his son, Mammon, with Gabriel and the Spear of Destiny. Lucifer knows what this means and rushes in to stop Gabriel, sending Mammon back to Hell and burning Gabriel's wings off. He returns to Constantine, asking what he wants for alerting him to the potential disaster, which would've caused a problem for his future reign on Earth. Constantine says that he wants Isabel to be released to Heaven, which Lucifer quickly grants before starting to drag Constantine back to Hell. Before he can get very far, Constantine is suddenly pulled toward Heaven, flipping off Lucifer as he ascends. Lucifer recognizes what's happened: Constantine's selfless sacrifice to save Isabel from Hell has delivered the absolution he needed to get to Heaven. By damning himself a second time, Constantine tricked Lucifer into allowing his redemption. However, Lucifer would never let a soul like Constantine's escape his grasp so easily.
Why Satan Healed Constantine & What He Thinks Will Happen
As Constantine ascends to Heaven, Lucifer makes one last play, which involves curing the man's dying body. As he's also dying of lung cancer from a lifetime of chain-smoking, Constantine's days were already numbered. Reaching into his chest, Lucifer pulls out all the cancer from Constantine's lungs, bringing him back to life and giving him a second chance to damn himself all over again. Lucifer believes that Constantine is destined to screw up and his choices in life will again lead him back into his arms (and back to Hell). Although Constantine has earned his redemption and, presumably, still has a ticket to Heaven as a result of his sacrifice, he now has to continue living and maintaining that status, which could quickly go away if he finds himself meandering into sin and debauchery. This is exactly what Lucifer is counting on.
Constantine Post Credits Scene Explained
After handing over the Spear of Destiny to Angela and trading cigarettes for a piece of gum, Constantine appears in a post-credits scene visiting the grave of Chas, who was killed by Gabriel. He approaches Chas's grave and sets his lighter on top of it, saying, "You did good, kid." As he walks away, a pair of angel wings show up and Chas is revealed in angel form, before he flies off into the sky. In the Hellblazer comics, Chas acts as a driver/bodyguard known for his strength and survival skills, but the transformation to angelic form is something reserved only for the Constantine movie. It's unclear why he becomes an angel, let alone what his new purpose may be, but it's surely something that could be explored in the sequel. It's interesting to note that this is one of the first uses of a post-credits scene in a comic book movie, three years before 2008's Iron Man made it the standard.
Next: Why John Constantine Isn't In The Sandman