20

In the movie Constantine said, "You don't need its protection, it would be like the old days."

Did the amulet prohibit hearing voices? So he could find out what's happening and report back to Constantine or something else?

  • Great Question. I always wondered about that myself, because the only explanation I have ("He wanted it for himself") doesn't fit the bill. – bitmask Feb 12 '12 at 6:22
  • Ahh.. you are actually asking a question with the quote wrong! it is "You don't need HIS protection"... Make a lot more sence now, dont it? :) – WizardOz Feb 12 '12 at 10:16
  • @WizardOz : "His", who is he? It makes even less sense now! I check it again, this has been bugging since the movie came out! – Arjang Feb 12 '12 at 10:39
  • @WizardOz : according to script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/c/… : Come on, you don't need its protection. It'll be like back in the day. That seems to suggest he just needed it and was going to give it back asap. But the poor priest didn't last that long. – Arjang Feb 12 '12 at 10:42
  • Since the main plot was loosely based on the "Dangerous Habits" story arc (Hellblazer #41–46), maybe the comic has some clues? – WizardOz Feb 12 '12 at 10:45
9

While neither the movie or the script specifically discuss what powers the amulet possesses or grants, John gives it to Angela as a ward of sorts. From the script:

John turns to her -- locks on those eyes. He reaches
into his coat pocket as he walks up to her. She shudders
as his arms wrap around her face and for a beat they're
cheek to cheek. When he pulls back she sees he has
clipped Hennessey's AMULET around her neck.

                      JOHN

       Think of it as a bulletproof vest.

Here is where the script and the movie diverge.

In the movie, Angela accidentally leaves the amulet in the car when she takes off her jacket and it's when John notices the missing amulet that Angela is abducted.

So, added to John's earlier comment to Hennessey, it's reasonable to assume that it provides protection from attacks by demons/half-breeds.

As for exactly why he took - or, as in the script, removed the amulet - let's look at the script again.

                    HENNESSEY

         Oh God, you want me to surf the
         ether.

       He instinctively touches an AMULET around his neck.
       Four intersecting crosses.

                       JOHN

         Come on, you know that exorcism
         wasn't right.

                       HENNESSEY

         I... I don't have the Sight
         anymore.

                       JOHN

         Don't have it or don't want to use
         it?

         Hennessey vacillates.
         This is obviously tough for him.

                       JOHN

         Just look around. A few days.
         You spot anything unusual,
         anything -- you let me know.
         Okay?

         John wraps an arm around his shoulder like a good buddy,
         then reaches behind his neck --

                       JOHN

         It'll be like old times.
        -- and unclips the amulet from Hennessey's neck. That
        unnerves the big guy. John drops it in Hennessey's
       pocket.

                       JOHN

         Just for a few days.

This backs up the idea that the amulet is a ward. By removing it, John hopes that Demons may come closer to Hennessey and he may be able to learn something.

Finally, we have the script version of the scene where John and Angela find Hennessey in the store.

John leans down to the remains of his friend. A cop starts to
intervene but Angela blocks him. Let him be. John has trouble taking
this in, reluctantly reaches into Hennessey's coat pocket -- finds the
protective amulet he himself removed from his friend. That's even more
crushing.

This final bit pretty much confirms (IMO, at least) that the amulet was meant to protect the wearer from demon attacks.

  • Occam's Razor suggests that the amulet prevents perception of the supernatural and nothing more. A seer who wears it can't See, so John took it off Hennessey. The demon who killed Hennessey did so without laying a finger on him -- and perhaps therefore without breaking the rules -- by using illusions. Hennessey had worn it, not just to prevent that kind of attack, but to spare himself what he would otherwise glimpse now and then. And in the film, when John puts it on Angela, it's a precaution. (According to this theory, it wouldn't have prevented her abduction.) – Beta Mar 29 '13 at 13:32
  • 1
    If it was only to mask perception, John wouldn't have explained it as "a bulletproof vest" to Angela. – phantom42 Mar 29 '13 at 13:41
  • There's a brief scene where Hennessey is rifling through tons of grim articles and eventually seizes on the story of Angela's sister. I'd guess that gain of insight is the explicit reason for taking off his "vest". – Nick T Feb 20 '14 at 5:12
1

"His" protection in the whole movie (unless there is a back story to it) refers to God. Constantine displays this rebellious attitude the whole time, even as he was going to heaven for sacrificing his own life (he was showing the middle finger to Lucifer). The priest was psychic and such ability comes with a price. While the priest was holy enough he in normal terms would be open to demonic attack and makes him susceptible to being possessed or damaged in some way. Thus the amulet prevents such dark forces to intercept in between. However, in order to use that power he has to take off the amulet so that he is "open" to his normal "channels". Sort of like taking lithium for schizophrenics who hear things. This is spiritual lithium.

-3

It's a holy protection trinket. It protects against evil. I'm assuming the voices the priest hears are all evil. That's how he finds possessed individuals and demonic possession. I also believe that's why John gave the trinket to Angela. To protect her from the darkness. This is just my understanding of the movie, I could be wrong. I also know that this flick was heavily criticized, although I thought it was awesome.

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