People try to make links between relatively unrelated movies all of the time. The narrative structure of a story is the content or plot of a story and the form used to tell that story. You have characters, a setting, and a basic plot. Most times in fiction, you have subplots. A subplot is “a secondary strand of the plot that is a supporting side story for any story or the main plot.” Sometimes characters and events in that subplot are memorable. Sometimes secondary characters remind us of characters from other movies. While watching a movie the other night, I laughingly made a connection. The connection I found connects an antagonist of one with a participant in a subplot in the other. This connection is tough to sell, but it is fun to contemplate.
My wife and I were watching Constantine for what I am sure was the 20th time. Constantine is half horror-half superhero movie (based on the DC Comics character of the same name). It follows John Constantine (played by Keanu Reeves), an exorcist and occult expert that used his ability to see and communicate with the angels and demons that inhabit or try to come into the Earthly plane for his financial gain. Constantine uncovers a sinister plot where the half-breed angel Gabriel attempts to help make Lucifer’s son Mammon unleash Hell on Earth to make the surviving humans worthy of God’s love. Gabriel attempts to use the spear that pierced the side of Jesus during his crucifixion as a Godly assisted means to ‘cut’ Mammon’s spirit from the powerful psychic his spirit is using to break onto the Earthly plain. To stop this Constantine uses his last resort. He again commits suicide (an essential plot point of the movie is that he is a suicide survivor and will be damned to Hell after death) because Constantine knows that Lucifer hates him so much that he would leave Hell to take his soul back with him. The movie ends with Lucifer finding out what his son is attempting to do in the next room and spoils their plot. Subsequently, Constantine’s sacrifice earns him God’s favor, and Hell is not unleashed on Earth.
So what movie could I possibly connect with Constantine? Well, let me tell you. A movie about a Catholic priest who questioned his beliefs was released less than a year after Constantine. About a man tempted to forbid his faith and use worldly means to earn the glitz and glamor of fame. A man tempted to forbid his duties and religion. A man named Ignacio.
Ignacio is a Catholic friar unhappy with his caste position of cooking at the same Mexican monastery he grew up. Ignacio sinfully moonlights as a luchador but is not satisfied with not being the greatest luchador. Despite knowing it was a sin of vanity, Ignacio continued on his journey for greatness. He yearned for the glamour and pride of winning. Ignacio’s tag team partner is an atheist and tells him about a way to get the powers he needs to be great. Not through prayer but through supernatural means. Ignacio and his tag team partner Steven meet up with a magic man who offers to give Ignacio his powers if he trusts him and eats the yolk of a bald eagle egg. Emporer, the magic man, is played by none than Peter Stormare. The same man who played Lucifer in Constantine is the same man offering this power to Ignacio.
It is a stretch to think that Lucifer, while still on Earth from his ordeal with Constantine is trying to lead others away from God? Is it a stretch to think that Lucifer had heard of the backsliding of a Catholic priest down in Mexico and used promises of power and glory in exchange for his soul? Is it silly to think there could be a link between Constantine and Nacho Libre? Maybe it is just a coincidence? Maybe not.
Featured Image: Keanu Reeves in Constantine accredited to Warner Bros. Fair Use.
Constantine Movie poster by http://www.impawards.com/2005/constantine.html, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12727954
Hell in Constantine movie accredited to Official Website, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24006173
Painting of Franciscan monk, shown with a traditional tonsure hairstyle by Alexandre Cabanel – The Athenaeum: Home – info – pic, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10362461
Peter Stormare in Constantine (2005) accredited to Warner Bros. Fair Use.
Nacho Libre movie image is accredited to Paramount Pictures. Fair Use.