Constantine: City Of Demons (2018)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 12/17/18
Cast: Matt Ryan, Laura Bailey

Chas Chandler's eight-year-old daughter Trish is in a mysterious coma. He suspects dark magic may be involved, so he asks his long-time friend John Constantine (Matt Ryan) for help. John reluctantly agrees, and quickly realizes there's more going on than just demonic possession. Leaving Trish in the care of Asa The Nightmare Nurse (Laura Bailey), John and Chas fly to Los Angeles where they meet the demon who's responsible for Trish's condition, and he strikes a bargain with John to eliminate some of his competitors. The Queen Of Angels also makes a deal with John to help rid her city of its demons, and John calls upon an old Aztec god for aid. Of course, when dealing with gods and devils, nothing is as it seems and betrayal is a constant problem. Magic extracts a heavy toll, and sacrifices must be made if they ever want to free Trish from being sent to Hell.

This is definitely not a show for the kiddies, and even I was shocked by the amount of blood, sadism, and gore. The movie is a compilation of a web series, which gives it an odd rhythm and makes the pacing sluggish. Its ninety minute running time feels about twenty minutes too long, and it could definitely benefit from some editing to tighten things up. The animation is good, but the character designs are a bit too sharp and angular for my tastes, which is kind of the style these days. Asa and Angela provide some delightful sex appeal, and I was really intrigued by Asa's character and background. I'd love to see her get her own series, but that's just wishful dreaming. The voice acting is excellent, and both Matt Ryan and Laura Bailey are top notch performers. The action is loud and frantic, with a bombastic music score to complement it. The writing is good and consistently mature, which I appreciated. Constantine is a conduit for trouble and bad luck, and a constant sense of dread keeps you wondering what awful thing is going to happen next. It's nice to see John get his own series, and I'm looking forward to his next hell-blazing adventure.