Constantine: City of Demons – Review: An Intense R-Rated Demonic Adventure
If you are looking for an R-rated movie that shows how dangerous the DC Comics’ demonic world can be, I recommend picking up Constantine: City of Demons. The story features a version of Constantine comic book fans will appreciate.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Combo pack I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.
Even though NBC decided to cancel the not-so-well-written Constantine live-action TV series, Matt Ryan’s take on the character has continued to stick around in the live-action and animated worlds. While fans wait to see Ryan again as Constantine in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow season 4, set to premiere on October 22, 2018, they can catch him battling numerous creatures from the underworld in Constantine: City of Demons.
Some of you might remember the City of Demons animated content released on the CW Seed back in March of this year. The current home release concludes the story as well as adds more scenes to make it a feature-length film.
As far as my opinion goes, the City of Demons offers you quite a comic book-accurate portrayal of the world John lives in. Messing around with the occult isn’t child’s play. This movie makes it clear the audience understands there is a price for every spell. The plot weaves in many things from Hellblazer: All His Engines. There are numerous twists that will keep you engaged. John also makes a surprisingly fun comment about Marvel’s Dr. Strange.
I have to say I enjoyed this movie far more than I did Justice League Dark, which added Batman to the mix for no reason at all.
Here’s the official synopsis:
A decade after a tragic mistake, family man Chas and occult detective John Constantine set out to cure Chas’s daughter Trish from a mysterious supernatural coma. With the help of the mysterious Nightmare Nurse, the influential Queen of Angels, and brutal Aztec God Mictlantecuhtli, the pair just might have a chance at outsmarting the demon Beroul to save Trish’s soul. In a world of shadows and dark magic, not everything is what it seems, and there’s always a price to pay. The path to redemption is never easy, and if Constantine is to succeed, he must navigate through the dark urban underbelly of Los Angeles, outwit the most cunning spawns of hell, and come face to face with arch-nemesis Nergal – all while battling his own inner demons!
Constantine: City of Demons has been produced in a dual format – initially as animated shorts, the first five of which appeared on CW Seed. With a runtime of 90 minutes, the feature-length Constantine: City of Demons film has over an hour of never-before-seen content including the film’s thrilling climax).
Check out the trailer!
One of the things I liked about the film’s story was how it was able to flesh out the characters in a limited amount of time. You could sense the love shared between Chas, his wife, and their daughter. Making their connection obvious was important for the plot to work.
John came across very similar to his comic book counterpart. He is stuck in a world where he can never fully win. There are always some strings attached no matter how much he tries to help others. Being around his friends puts them in danger. John is a broken character and I liked how the animation department and Ryan’s voice work did justice to him in this movie.
Speaking of the animation, it is the same style we have been seeing in recent releases. Some might want more facial and body expressions, but what can you do. The budgetary constraints are quite clear. However, having said this, the animation department still did what it could to make this offering enjoyable.
As for Constantine’s sexuality, while we don’t see him making out with a man, we still get certain glimpses of John not being straight. For example, when hooking up with the physical manifestation of Los Angeles (it appears as a woman at first), the paranormal being does turn into men while riding John (if you know what I mean) and giving him a history lesson. Also, the manifestation, now appearing as an elderly man, kisses John near the end of the movie.
Constantine: City of Demons is currently available to own on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and Digital. Both combo packs include a Digital Copy.
The 4K Ultra HD disc features 2160p Ultra High Definition 16X9 Widescreen (1.78:1) video presentation along with English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.
The Blu-ray disc features 1080p High-Definition 16X9 Widescreen (1.78:1) video presentation with English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (French, German Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1).
Of course, there is a difference in video quality when comparing the 4K UHD and Blu-ray. I recommend watching this movie on the 4K UHD disc if you are okay with all the gore coming across as more detailed and brighter.
The bonus content:
- The Sorcerer’s Occultist: Understanding John Constantine (1080p; 1.78:1; 13:38): A look at John’s background as a character as well as his connection with magic. This feature is presented by City of Demons director Doug Murphy, producer Butch Lukic, executive producer David Goyer and Jason Louv, who is described as an “Occult Expert” and ups the intellectual quotient by citing the writings of Carl Jung.
- Constantine: City of Demons WonderCon Panel – 2018 (1080p; 1.78:1; 20:50): The panel includes Matt Ryan, screenwriter J.M. DeMatteis and Peter Girardi from Blue Ribbon Content (Warner’s division devoted to digital series).
So, if you have meaning to enjoy an animated film which feels similar to the comic books, you should consider picking up a copy of Constantine: City of Demons.
Feel free to share your thoughts if you have already seen this animated offering.
Farid has a Masters in Psychology and an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Arousing the Legacy, Missing in Somerville, The Game Master of Somerville, and The Escaped Murderer of Somerville. He gives us insight on comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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