Review: Constantine ‘Saints of Last Resort’ Not Enough
Our media world has been so saturated by more than a plethora of supernatural television shows that I probably would have advised NBC to not go through with this series at all. In this day and age, there are so many stations whose claim-to-fame has been by taking the horror genres to new levels of cinematography, character development, and strong thematic storylines. Constantine’s segmented finale Saints of Last Resort falls incredibly short of the remarkable standards of wit, horror, and imagination of similar shows like Supernatural and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The underdeveloped characters are boring and awkward in their interactions with others. Stale plotlines and a stock script inhibit the abilities of the characters that actually have potential to be interesting. And never before have I seen an exorcism less exciting.
Matt Ryan absolutely carries the entire show on his shoulders with his delightful performance as Constantine. As if he didn’t have enough supernatural burden on his hands, having to deal with the hissy fits from the women of his past and present is on the list of things poor Constantine has to deal with. Particularly, his relationship with Anne-Marie inhibit the viewer from enjoying the investigative nature of his projects, like finding bleeding trees that bear fruit made of flesh. It sounds exciting in theory, but this show has no problems sacrificing moments of suspense for elementary babbling. It caused nothing but sighing and eye-rolling from this audience of one.
As if legends of the Catholic church, covens of witches, and demon possessions haven’t already been beaten to death enough, “Saints of Last Resort” manages to skim through all of these ideas as if there weren’t ages of historical significance to them. The writers waste no time coming up with the most absurdly simple demonic symbolisms. “Avenue Nueva 3666?” I laughed so hard I couldn’t hear the next two minutes of dialogue. On top of the stagnant and rushed treatment of the brujeria and Pazuzu were equally uninteresting dialogues that segued into disconnected interactions that were probably supposed to be more significant than they actually seemed. The biggest example is every scene in which Zed faces, confronts, or runs away from the Men-In-Black rejects who claim to be returning her to her “father.”
Lastly, the greatest fault in this two-part episode was the disappointing exorcism. It’s everything you think it is and probably less. While I liked the idea of how Constantine was initially possessed by the demon (thanks to the worst nun in the world), the progression of Pazuzu’s domination in Constantine’s body was as exciting as a slice of Wonder bread. Especially if writers knowingly planned to take on the same demon spirit that lived most vicariously through Regan MacNeil (The Exorcist), they should have personified it with a grander vigor and more lively development of character. If these writers were smart, they would have written out some kind of epic battle between Pazuzu and Lamashtu who are legendary rivals. The fact that they hadn’t thought that out when Constantine had actually confronted the latter is beyond me.
Before I get a migraine from all my rants, let me just say if you have owned a color television for more than two years, and you’re a fan of horror with a playful investigative side, accompanied by rich characters, this is not the show for you.
Editor’s Note: Let see where this series goes from here. If you have been enjoying this series so far, please send us your comments once you watch this two part episode.