TV review: ‘Constantine’ is a generic approach to supernatural drama

Matt Ryan plays the grumpy demon hunter in NBC’s Constantine, and we dig his investigative dance moves.

Two and a half stars

Constantine Fridays, 10 p.m., NBC.

The third new fall drama based on a DC Comics character, Constantine is neither as fun as The Flash nor as grandiose as Gotham, instead opting for a fairly generic, middle-of-the-road approach to supernatural drama (in that sense NBC has paired it well with Grimm). Welsh actor Matt Ryan plays the title character, an English occult investigator with a troubled past who was previously played by Keanu Reeves in a justly forgotten 2005 movie. Removed from the larger context of the DC universe, Constantine is just another guy who battles demons and deals with skeptical muggles, and the pilot doesn’t do much to set him apart. The character’s rough edges have been smoothed out a bit, so that he’s more of a grump than a bastard, another factor in making the show less distinctive. It’s a serviceable show about fighting supernatural evil, but it lacks the verve of its lead character’s comic book origins.

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