Cast: David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Sasha Lane
Director: Neil Marshall
I’m not exactly sure where the demand for a Hellboy reboot stemmed from, but I can guarantee you this is not what the fans were looking for. The Del Toro/Pearlman movies of the 2000s were generally well-received and admired by fans of the series, but the latest Hellboy will leave even the most forgiving fans disappointed. An overproduced, poorly written mess of a movie, Hellboy is perfectly example of how to tell us something over showing us and what happens to a movie when it exclusively focuses on gore instead of substance.
The film follows Hellboy (Harbour), a supernatural demon who works with the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense to help stop the influence of evil creatures and the destruction they cause around the world. When Nimue the Blood Queen (Jovovich) is resurrected and plans to bring a new era of chaos and death to the world, it is up to Hellboy and his allies to stop her and save the world. One of the main issues this movie faces is the story doesn’t introduce anything by showing us, but rather by having the dialogue do the trick. At certain points I thought this movie was a sequel to the Del Toro ones because it introduces new relationships as if we should already know what the movie is referencing. For example, when Hellboy first confronts the Baba Yaga, she explains that he’s the reason why she’s trapped in her situation, it’s shown to us in a way that made me believe we should already know that, but when you have a plot based on magic and demons you can’t use it as an excuse to not establish your characters and plot. This is not the only instance of this as at one point Alice (Lane) ends up discovering she has supernatural powers greater than what she anticipated. It’s conveniently placed when she’s in a position of peril with no real explanation as to how or why she can do the things she can do. At moments I thought there were significant scenes that were cut from this movie as most if not all of the relationships in this movie are unestablished and disjointed. When a movie has six production companies and eight producers involved in the making of it, then it probably has too many people giving input on the final product should be and you get what feels like eight separate types of movies in 121 minutes. The movie relies heavily on its gore and the R-rating it picked up, but it just comes across as unnecessary and juvenile. It’s not gore to prove a point or express a point, it’s gore for the sake of just showing as much blood and guts as possible. It’s not even necessarily creepy or off-putting, it’s just excessive. When you add all of these factors in and then factor in humor that constantly falls flat and a final climax that ends super abruptly you begin to realize that maybe another Hellboy movie should’ve stayed on the shelf until someone who had the same love as Del Toro was ready to take over.
Overall, Hellboy feels like it was made to make a quick profit at the expense of any sort of quality or love. Luckily it looks as though the fans picked on this and aren’t seeing it with the same enthusiasm as they did for Del Toro’s. I just don’t know what Lionsgate was thinking trying to create and market a movie they very clearly didn’t care about and I hope they can fix this up with future projects and understand the value associated with tighter writing, normal editing, and better acting.
Overall Score: 1.5/10