Directed by Neil Marshall
Starring: David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Sasha Lane, Daniel Day Kim, Ian McShane
Runtime: 121 minutes
This week we review Hellboy. Hellboy is based off a graphic novel by Mike Mignola that premiered in 1993. Obviously graphic novels are hit and miss. I think of The Walking Dead which is also based on a graphic novel and LOVE it. This not so much. This version of Hellboy is a reboot. Back in 2004 Hellboy was brought together by Guillermo Del Toro featuring Ron Pearlman as Hellboy. That version was excellent. It spawned a sequel that hit theaters in 2008 and was rumored for a third film before the reboot happened. I did have high hopes for this one because of the star being David Harbour. Harbour plays Chief Hopper on one of the best shows created, Stranger Things on Netflix. If you don’t see Hellboy. I’d imagine you won’t. Go binge Stranger Things! The third and “final” season airs July 4th. I’m serious. Watch that series.
Onto the film.
Hellboy opens in 517 A.D. in black & white. We then are introduced to King Arthur who is fighting Nimue (Jovovich) This opening mixes the black and white with hints of color that I felt was a nice touch. We are also given a narrative on this account by Professor “Bloom” (McShane) From the start I had high hopes. They were wrong.
Onto present day in Tijuana. We meet Hellboy (Harbour) who’s on the hunt for an agent who went missing. He works for the B.P.R.D. (Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense) Think FBI/Interpol/Men in Black. Immediately Harbour shines. He has the classic wisecracks of Hellboy but to me his appearance seemed “off.” Three weeks go by and Hellboy is missing. He’s eventually brought back to B.P.R.D. where he explains to Bloom, he was blowing off some steam. It’s just casual stuff for him. There is a good back and forth between Harbour and McShane. I expected this as both are excellent actors. It also occurred to me that there had been no backstory told on Hellboy. Normally in an origin film, the audience is told who we are on the adventure with from the start, but this backstory didn’t come until roughly 30
minutes in. And things went downhill from there. We jump to a story that comes over incredibly cheesy. In my notes I even have the words “cheesy glasses” How a film can be so cheesy even the glasses are bad is a mystery.
The best scene from me picks up after the backstory where Hellboy is on the hunt for a trio of giants. I will say the monsters look good and the fight scenes Hellboy has really shine. Especially the scene involving the giants. There is a mix of interesting music that I felt added a nice layer to the film, mainly during every battle.
We then are introduced to the rest of the team. Alice (Lane) has known Hellboy since she was a child and it’s obviously from the get-go that things are what they seem with her. Daimio (Kim) is hesitant of Hellboy and makes for a nice foil for the group. We see them hunting after Nimue and trying to save the world. It was fate for Hellboy and her to meet. Jovovich who plays Nimue wasn’t terrible. She can either be great (think The Fifth Element) or terrible (the last few Resident Evil films) I felt that she was a good choice for the “big bad” and there was good chemistry with the two film leads.
Overall, the problems I had from this film stemmed from the script. Whether it be cheesy dialogue or just whether it was boring I was disappointed with this product. There were glimpses of a good film in there, but it missed the mark. I enjoyed the monster makeup. It seemed like a mix of CGI and practical effects. There are a few scenes with Baba Yaga (from Russian folklore) which looked great. Other than that kind of a dud. I’m giving this film 2 stars. One star for McShane and Harbour. Both are excellent in pretty much anything they do. The other star comes from the monsters. The director has done horror films in the past and that showed. Unfortunately, I can’t say anything else was enjoyable. Go see Shazam! this weekend and if you’ve already seen it see it again. Great movie for the great weather. This one pass on. Also, shout out to the Columbus Blue Jackets on a sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning. First playoff series win ever! 2 Stars out of 5 -Hellboy (Playoff series 5 stars out of 5) #SHOPLOCAL
Andrew McManus is Operations Manager for Patties & Pints and its parent company Eflow Development. He can be reached at email@example.com or 740-981-9158.