The superhero genre has only gained ground. From the small screen entertainment industry that the Arrowverse and MCU shows give us to the big screens that the MCU and DCEU give us, the genre has grown by leaps and bounds. The pop culture appeal of comics is higher than ever. But that wasn’t always the case in the early to mid-2000s. Warner Brothers saw potential in offbeat comic book superhero movies long before Marvel gave us Guardians of the Galaxy. In 2005, we saw Keanu Reeves play John Constantine in a live action movie. 2005’s Constantine was panned by critics then, with Rotten Tomatoes leading the way.
Now Rotten Tomatoes has finally arrived and I realized what a gem of a movie this is. In an editorial published under the banner of Rotten Tomatoes that is going viral, the site goes to great lengths to make amends. They have now come forward to publicly apologize for trying to smear this masterpiece.
Rotten Tomatoes publicly apologizes to 2005’s Constantine, but why now?
This didn’t happen out of the blue guys. Rotten Tomatoes suddenly had no vision of God and was commanded by angels to bow down to 2005’s Constantine for his crimes. Turns out there’s a very legitimate reason. 2005’s Constantine finally premiered on HBO Max, DC’s exclusive streaming partner. And HBO Max has opened up the now-obscure film to cult-classic sleeper hit status. Since the movie was released quite some time ago, an entire generation of superhero fans had yet to see it. And now that they have access to HBO Max, they’ve realized that Keanu Reeves’ Constantine isn’t as bad as Rotten Tomatoes made it out to be.
As a subtle form of reparation for all the damage it has done to Constantine’s ‘street cred’ with negative reviews, Rotten Tomatoes has published an editorial apologizing to Constantine. They probably did so due to backlash from new age fans who believe the movie was unfairly judged by the platform.
Why Rotten Tomatoes Hated Keanu Reeves’ Hellblazer at First
There could be a couple of reasons. The world wasn’t ready for another DC movie after Halle Berry’s disastrous lead: Catwoman. The horn effect came into play and viewers were still not out of the shock of seeing a bad DC superhero movie when the studio shoved another one in their faces.
The fact that Warner Brothers took some creative liberties was also criticized by critics and fans at the time. John Constantine is supposed to have blonde hair and a thick British accent. Keanu Reeves had none. Changes in the source material during the making of the film were also not appreciated. In the end, the script was demonized for not being what fans expected it to be. Rotten Tomatoes fanned the flames and it became popular.
Rotten Tomatoes calls the film “a unique cinematic experience”
The site has showered the 2005 film with praise. Rotten Tomatoes calls Constantine a noir thriller as well as a comic book movie. The eternal ‘cold war’ between heaven and hell and how it affects the human world is explored in depth. The supporting cast is also applauded for helping to enhance the cinematic experience. Keanu Reeves, according to Rotten Tomatoes, plays a ‘Proto-John Wick’ in the 2005 film.
The film’s unique view of Hell as a parallel universe mirroring our own was also a novelty. Before Stranger Things gave us Upside Down, Francis Lawrence had already done so with Constantine in 2005. Rotten Tomatoes goes on to add that the movie “didn’t make the biggest mark” on comic book cinematic history. But he tried to be different. In a world where the MCU rules the superhero genre with generic, formulaic approaches to all movies, Constantine proves that there is still room for experimentation in the superhero genre. And they were wrong to leave the movie when they should have been more open to experiments like Constantine.
Constantine – Where can you see it?
The 2005 movie Constantine is now finally streaming on HBO max. Starring Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz, Tilda Swinton and Peter Stormare in pivotal roles, the official synopsis for the film reads:
As a suicide survivor, demon hunter John Constantine (Keanu Reeves) has literally been to hell and back, and he knows that when he dies, he will have a one-way ticket to Satan’s realm unless he can earn enough goodwill to climb up. God’s ladder to heaven. While he helps policewoman Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) investigate the apparent suicide of her identical twin, Constantine becomes embroiled in a supernatural plot involving both demonic and angelic forces. Based on the DC/Vertigo “Hellblazer” comics.