First, allow me to begin with an old rant. I was quite disappointed when the TV series Constantine got canceled back in 2015 only after one season. Matt Ryan was a perfect cast for the character, and even though the show did not follow the storyline of the Hellblazer comics, it was still pretty good.
Now, forward to 2017, and we have a new DC superhero team, Justice League Dark. Obviously, the comics came out way back in 2011, but this new superhero cast is beginning to creep into our televisions too.
Let’s talk about the new animated movie, Justice League Dark. Let’s face it, there are only two reasons to watch this movie – Batman and Constantine, a team up that is so weird in the most brilliant way possible. I’ve heard many people call Constantine the Batman of the magic world. And as somebody who has watched and loved Marvel’s Doctor Strange movie, I’m sorry Benedict Cumberbatch, Constantine is the bigger bad ass and he makes magic look a lot cooler.
So, let’s get into the meat of it. Faced with a sudden rise in people world over magically hallucinating about demons and monsters, and going bat-shit crazy, Batman goes on a search for Constantine with the help of Zatanna and Deadman. They find the House of Mystery and join forces with Constantine who helps them fight against an evil villain. That’s the spoiler-free version of the story.
The movie overall is pretty good – it’s a good start, especially if they’re planning on making it into a franchise. Something I really hope they do. The story is pretty fast moving, maybe even a little too fast moving, but it keeps you hooked till the end. There’s even a plot twist to make it interesting.
Constantine is voiced by the real-life lookalike Constantine, Matt Ryan. His British accent and slang bring the character right out of the comic pages to life. Now, obviously, Constantine and, to a certain extent, Zatanna do most of the heavy lifting in the movie, but Batman is not completely wasted. He has his moments. Jason O’Mara does a great job with the Batman voice, and the grunt. That’s right… the Batman grunt. It’s got a hilarious timing.
Two other things I loved about this movie was that they brought in Swamp Thing and Richie Simpson which is a tip of the hat to Constantine’s origins. Constantine the comic character owes his existence to The Saga of the Swamp Thing comic, where he makes his first appearance. Also, Richie Simpson is one of Constantine’s old buddies-turned-demon in the original Hellblazer comics.
The animation is as expected top-notch. I wish it was a little longer than it was or at least they slowed down the pace a bit to fully relish it, but other than that there’s not much to complain about this animated movie. It’s not the best story in the world, but it’s decent for an animated film. Having Batman and Constantine share a screen is great, but I do wish there was a little more interaction between the two characters. Having said that, it’s still a great stepping stone to bringing Constantine into the mainstream. The animated movie brings great potential for a franchise.
Speaking of movies, Justice League Dark might soon come to the big screens as well, as a live action film has been confirmed to be in development at Warner Bros. The film may be titled, Dark Universe.
So, check out Justice League Dark if you haven’t already. If you haven’t heard or watched Constantine before, you’ll love this movie. But if you’re an ardent fan of Constantine and Batman, and are hyped up about this movie, you might want to lower down the expectations a tad bit. This movie is just a dipping of the toe into the water.
So, go ahead, take a walk to the dark side.
If you’re looking for more information about Constantine, especially his comic history, check out the video below: