John Constantine is no stranger to deals with the devil, and like so many of his desperate friends before us, we can’t help but hope that this time it will all work out. NBC commissioning a “Constantine” pilot should sound like Willy Wonka building a space shuttle – simply impossible to take the heat of where they need to go with the material they work with – but this time there’s talent. An executive producer from the The Dark Knight trilogy and the director behind Game of Thrones. These are people who know how to conjure live action into our most precious intellectual properties.
Matt Ryan as Constantine keeps us hoping and worrying. He looks just like the comic book (and even something so simple can’t be guaranteed – remember when Stallone took Dredd’s helmet off?), in both costume and contempt, but he’s also spotless. And all that smoke wreathing around him is as close as they can come to actually having a hero with a cigarette on television. It’s an image of excellent work and inevitable limitation, and we’ll live in hope that the former works out. Things always work out for the best for John, right?
And it’s not like he can be worse than Keanu Reeves.