Saturday, October 25, 2014


   Perhaps I'm not the right guy to review the new TV series Constantine.

   That's because I'm really not much of a fan of horror.

   I like a scary story, but most "horror" just goes for the easy shock - severed limbs, gruesome creatures popping up, blood flying - that sort of thing.

   There's some of that on view in this show - it's a bit heavy on the grisly demons - but it also carries an internal logic and an actual story that feels true to its Vertigo origins.

   The character first appeared in Alan Moore's Swamp Thing series, and then graduated to his own long-running series, Hellblazer.

   Actor Matt Ryan plays the title role, and does an excellent job as the tortured but determined demon fighter (though I admit I always pictured Sting in the part). Constantine's life mission is to make up for his greatest failure - and redeem his own doomed soul.

   He's drawn to America to try to save the life (and soul) of a young woman who faces death and destruction at the hands of a very powerful demon.

   Fans will find some nods to other DC legends in the show - the most obvious one being Dr. Fate.

   I do like the visual look of the show (a peek into the afterlife / alternate reality for lost souls was striking) and the creatures are unique - but a few of the more grotesque scenes were a bit much. One character is badly mangled in a horrific car accident - I could have done without that image.

   But for TV horror, it's well done. Add in solid acting, as interesting supporting cast (assuming any of them stick around or survive), and you have a solid show.

   Any fan of the genre should enjoy this series. Fans of the comic book character may find it a watered-down version, not as blunt or cutthroat  or quite as much of a heel - but frankly, it's much better than I expected.

Grade: A-


1 comment:

El Vox said...

Good review, Chuck. I enjoyed it quite a bit too. At least this time around, they cast an actor closer to the comic character. The gory aspects don't bother me, and for this type show like The Walking Dead, are rather expected from the horror fan--although I thought it was handled fairly tastefully.

That sort of thing doesn't bother me as much as some of the violent aspects shown on Gotham, CSI, or other network programming. Both are subjective calls, however, on the part of the viewer. But at least I didn't find the show boring, quite the contrary. I'm actually excited to see next week's episode. To me it had a bit of an X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer vibe. Friday night is a good place for it though, I hope they'll continue to keep it watchable