By James Davidson
“Hellboy” is the story of the son of the devil, who was brought to this world by the Nazis in World War II to help them fight the Allied forces. Based on the comic book series B.P.R.D., Hellboy was rescued by the Allied troops that were originally sent to kill him. He was raised by his “father”, Professor Broom (played by Ian McShane) to be a weapon against evil supernatural forces. Hellboy works for a government agency called the B.P.R.D. (the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense) fighting supernatural entities that find their way into our world.
In this movie, Hellboy (played by David Harbour) must battle Nimue (Milla Jovovich), an evil sorceress trying to take over the world and give it to the evil creatures and beasts of her kingdom. I liked the original Hellboy movies that were released in the early 2000’s. I didn’t think that they needed a reboot; but I was willing to give this movie a shot, since I was a fan of the character.
Hellboy is a very gritty, rough-around-the-edges character; so I was expecting some colorful language and gore, just not quite to the extent that was in this film. The gore was too much, it was as if the filmmaker put gore in the movie just to make sure that the movie got an R rating. There was too much pointless blood and guts to be enjoyable. I don’t mind the violence and action; I was expecting it, but this was just too much for my taste.
The action scenes were very exciting and well done, however, they were overwhelmed by the tasteless carnage. A lot of the monsters were created using CGI (Computer Generated Imaging) and it was a bit overdone, but otherwise ok. I was expecting a lot of CGI and it was fine, but could have been done a little better. Hellboy himself looked okay, it didn’t look like they used a lot of CGI creating him which I liked. Unfortunately, the monsters he fought were obviously animated which made for “interesting” visuals.
I wish that the movie spent a little more time establishing the world and characters instead of establishing blood and grume. Hellboy is based in a wonderful world where the supernatural and natural coexist. This version of the movie didn’t build this vision of the world up at all. A lot of things were mentioned in passing about it, but i would have liked to see it established better.
The characters were also lacking depth. Other than Hellboy and his father, the rest of the characters seemed to be superficial. I wish that the movie would have shown some more back story on the other characters. Especially for Alice and Major Ben Daimio (played by Shasha Lane and Daniel Dae Kim). These characters were very interesting; both of them had supernatural powers and they helped Hellboy fight Nimue. And they were given a brief backstory, however some of their powers were never explained. I felt that I was never given enough information about them for me to care much, which is a shame because they could have been more interesting. I wish the writers would have explored this intriguing world and characters much better and done this universe justice.
“Hellboy” has interesting characters and a fascinating world with a great cast, but the movie lacks execution. “Hellboy” tries to make up for lack of depth with an “edgy” R rating with gratuitous gore. I don’t think I will be buying this movie to add to my collection, but it might be worth renting to see again. If this type of movie is something you like, it could be a decent movie to go see for a night out with friends. It earns 2.5 out of 5 stars.