Based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, Hellboy, caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battles an ancient sorceress bent on revenge.
Directed by: Neil Marshall
. Starring: Mark Stanley
, Brian Gleeson
, Nadya Keranova
, Maria Tepavicharova
, Ana Tabakova
, Milla Jovovich
, Penelope Mitchell
, Terry Randal
, Ian McShane
, David Harbour
, Mario de la Rosa
, Christopher Mata
, Atanas Srebrev
. Music by: Benjamin Wallfisch
There's a lot of humor and action scenes in this. Gorehounds will be pleased to know that the R-rating is well deserved. They really run with the supernaturalfantasy elements and there's some pretty memorable visual moments.
I've heard a lot of complaints that there is too much going and the movie is choppy. I admit they crunch a lot of stuff in but in fairness, that's not too different than the Hellboy comics. Creator Mike Mignola often fits a lot of separate elements into a single story. (Let's be honest, he's more of an idea guy, than a planning guy.) Personally, I liked that this had a lot of things going on. Say what you will about this movie, but it never gets slow. Even though it's a kinda complex plot, I never got lost or confused about what was happening.
Rumor has it that there was a lot of behind-the-scenes conflict between director Neil Marshall (The Descent; Dog Soldiers) and the film's many producers. And, I can sort of see it. The beginning exposition feels like it was abridged and had a narration slapped on. It felt like in order to make things funnier, there was a lot of recorded dialogue added after filming which was a wee bit noticeable. (Though in fairness to the added dialogue, I may have been looking for it since I heard about the editing issues ahead of time. I'm also aware that now I've told you about it that you could probably be looking for it too and you may not have noticed otherwise. Sorry.) They finally manage to include a Hellboy character that a lot of fans of the comics will be happy about, but he or she is so wedged in that it doesn't feel quite natural.
I loved some of the creature designs in this. The movie includes some pretty creepy monsters. Unfortunately, this is a Millennium film and the budget isn't as big as a lot of the other comic book blockbusters out there. The computer graphics for the monsters are subpar. (A quick look at Hellboy is cut mercifully quick as it is so bad.) The quality just doesn't match the earlier Hellboy films, which are several years old.
David Harbour does a good job as the titular Hellboy. Admittedly, Ron Perlman does a better job of the human, emotional side of Hellboy, but Harbour is definitely funnier. Actually, the full cast is good. Comics fans will be disappointed that main players Abe Sapien and Liz Sherman aren't in this at all. But I credit the creators for trying to separate this from the original films. Hellboy's new partners in crime Alice Monaghan (Sasha Lane) and Major Ben Daimio (Daniel Dae KIm) are pretty likable. (Though I admit that Alice doesn't have much of a story arc and reason to hang around other than to repay a debt to Hellboy.) Ian McShane's Professor Broom, Hellboy's tough love foster father, is a real change of pace from the scholarly figure from the comics and other films, but it's fun to see the actor chew the scenery.
The best thing I can compare this to is the Constantine movie with Keanu Reeves. It's not a perfect product in the grand scheme, but there's enough fun individual parts that I was pleased.
Review by jwwalrath-227-85487 from the Internet Movie Database.