Hellboy: one gory mess

Mark Rogers / Courtesy Photo
Daniel Dae Kim as Ben Daimio with David Harbour as Hellboy and Sasha Lane as Alice Monaghan.

From the first appearance in August of 1993, the character of Hellboy has gained a cult following.

The movies made by Guillermo del Toro helped bringing audience closer to the character even more. While not a part of a large franchise like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Hellboy is still a favorite among moviegoers. The recent Hellboy reboot hopes to reimagine the character in a more modern state of cinema in a more gritty style, but fails hard in the the process of doing so.

Hellboy (2019) is the chronicle of the character of the same name in the middle of the normal world and the supernatural counterpart. Being a demon raised among humans, Hellboy played by David Harbour has to prevent the return of the Blood Queen, played by Milla Jovovich, who can turn the world into a literal hell.

With a premise like that, it is hard to not have high hopes for this film to be at least a decent mindless action flick. But what we get is a straight up forgettable mess. The movie certainly has its moments, but they are not enough to save the film as a whole. Every aspect about this movie can be compared to a teenager trying to be edgy. It is not an unwatchable movie by any means, but rather dull and forgettable.

Harbour brings a youthful and energetic performance to the table. He along with Ian McShane playing Professor Broom are the two brightest spots of the movie. While that is certainly a positive, it also makes them stick out like a sore thumb, as everyone else in the movie gives quite artificial performances. The other actors and actresses in the movie tend to over-act and exaggerate. Instead of seeing characters, people might just see actors.

The modern remake lacks some of the charms that the original two movies delivered.”

The visual effects is mediocre. With today modern technology, it would be normal to think that a movie with a feature release will have at least a good look. But it not the case with Hellboy. In some scenes, a sharp eye can tell that a green screen is being used. One prime example is the battle between Hellboy and the giants. The three giants feel “plastic” and in some instance, one can tell the background movements do not sync up with the characters. While the character designs are quite creative, they are ruined by the utterly substandard CGI onscreen. This is something that can easily take the audience out of the movie.

Hellboy is “R-rated,” which means viewers can anticipate some violence going into the film. And a violent movie it is. This is one of the gorier films that have come out this year, even has more blood than some of the horror releases. However, the violence can be summed up in one word: unnecessary. It seems as if someone who in control of the movie is going out of their way to put more blood on the screen. The movie might not be ideal for someone who is squeamish, yet might also be annoying to someone who has a bit of a tolerance to gore.

Being a reboot of the original Guillermo del Toro series, the 2019 version of Hellboy is subjected to comparison in terms of violences. The modern remake lacks some of the charms that the original two movies delivered. Bumping to an “R” rating does not thing but being a nuisance.

The bottom line is, Hellboy is in no way a bad movie but it has plenty of problems. With Shazam still in theaters and the upcoming Avengers: Endgame, it would seem that audiences have much better choices for entertainment.