After 17 Years, Rotten Tomatoes Finally Gives 2005’s Constantine a Heartfelt Apology

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The superhero genre has only gained ground. From the small screen entertainment industry giving us the Arrowverse and the MCU shows to the big screens giving is the MCU and DCEU, the genre has grown by leaps and bounds. The pop culture appeal of comic books is higher than ever. But that was not always the case back in the early to mid 2000’s. Warner Brothers saw potential in offbeat comic book superhero films way before Marvel gave us Guardians of the Galaxy. In 2005, we saw Keanu Reeves star as John Constantine in a live action movie. 2005’s Constantine was panned by critics then, Rotten Tomatoes leading the charge.

Keanu Reeves - Constantine (2005)
Keanu Reeves – Constantine (2005)

Now Rotten Tomatoes has finally come around and 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 out of its way to make amends. Now they have come forward to publicly apologise for trying to malign this masterpiece.

Rotten Tomatoes Publicly Apologises To 2005’s Constantine – But Why Now?

Keanu Reeves Wants To Portray 'Constantine' Again
Why Now, Rotten Tomatoes?

This did not happen out of nowhere guys. Rotten Tomatoes suddenly didn’t have a vision from God and was instructed by the angels to bow down before 2005’s Constantine for its crimes. Turns out, there is a very legitimate reason. 2005’s Constantine has finally been released in HBO Max, DC’s exclusive streaming partner. And HBO Max has opened the now obscure movie into a cult-classic sleeper hit status. Since the movie was released quite a while ago, a whole generation of superhero fans hadn’t watched it yet. And now they they have access to HBO Max, they have realized Keanu Reeves’ Constantine movie is not really as bad as Rotten Tomatoes said.

Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes

As a subtle form of reparation for all the damage it has caused to Constantine’s ‘street cred’ with negative reviews, Rotten Tomatoes has published an editorial where they apologise to Constantine. They most probably did it because of the backlash from the new age fans who believe the movie was judged unfairly by the platform.

Why Rotten Tomatoes Hated Keanu Reeves’ Hellblazer At First

Keanu Reeves - John Constantine - Hellblazer
Keanu Reeves – John Constantine – Hellblazer

There could be a couple of reasons. The world was not ready for another DC movie after the disastrous Halle Berry starrer – Catwoman. Horn effect came into play and the viewers were still not out of the shock of watching a bad DC superhero film when the studio shoved another one right on their faces.

Hell - 2005 Constantine
Keanu Reeves in Hell – Constantine

The fact that Warner Brothers took some creative liberties was also blasted by the critics and the fans back then. John Constantine is supposed to have blonde hair and a thick British accent. Keanu Reeves had neither. Changes to the source material while making the movie were also not appreciated. In the end, the script was demonized for being not what the fans hoped it would be. Rotten Tomatoes fueled the flames and grew popular.


Rotten Tomatoes Calls The Movie “A Unique Film Experience”

Keanu Reeves - Hellblazer
Keanu Reeves – Hellblazer

The site has showered the 2005 movie with praise. Rotten Tomatoes calls Constantine a noir thriller movie in addition to a comic book film. 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 make the movie experience better. Keanu Reeves, according to Rotten Tomatoes, plays a ‘Proto-John Wick’ in the 2005 film.

Constantine (2005) - Hell
Constantine (2005) – Hell

The movie’s unique vision of hell as a parallel universe that mirrors our own was also a first. Before Stranger Things gave us the Upside Down, Francis Lawrence had already done it with 2005’s Constantine. Rotten Tomatoes goes on to add that the movie “didn’t leave the biggest mark” in comic book cinematic history. But it tried to be different. In a world where MCU rules the superhero genre with generic and formulaic approaches to all movies, Constantine proves there’s still room to experiment in the superhero genre. And they were wrong to put the movie down when they should have been more open to experiments like Constantine.

Constantine – Where Can You Watch It

Rotten Tomatoes Apologises To Constantine

The 2005 Constantine movie 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 movie 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’s got a one-way ticket to Satan’s realm unless he can earn enough goodwill to climb God’s stairway to heaven. While helping policewoman Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) investigate her identical twin’s apparent suicide, Constantine becomes caught up in a supernatural plot involving both demonic and angelic forces. Based on the DC/Vertigo “Hellblazer” comics.


Written by Bibhu Prasad Panda

Articles Published: 1230

With a Bachelor's in Engineering and a Master's in Marketing and Operations, Bibhu found a love for writing, working for many different websites. He joined FandomWire in July 2020 and worked his way to his current position of Content Strategist. Bibhu has been involved in operating and managing FandomWire's team of writers, diversifying into varied, exotic fields of pop culture.