Rising from the depths of hell comes a reboot that the devil himself wouldn’t want to watch. Based on the Dark Horse Comic of the same name, Hellboy is a reboot of a film franchise from the early 2000s that no one asked for. Instead of having Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman return to continue the franchise for a third installment, the studio and executives decided to go in a darker direction for the character with an R-rating and excessive gore. This version of Hellboy stars David Harbour as the titular character, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, and Daniel Dae Kim. Neil Marshall replaces Guillermo del Toro in the director’s chair for this outing. Spoilers after the trailer.
Not everything about this film was terrible. The biggest praise goes to the makeup and costume design team for the designs of the characters that capture the fantasy aspects of the film. Hellboy (David Labour) looks like a character that stepped right out of a comic book. From the red flesh to the sawed off horns, his design is ass accurate of an adaptation you’re going to get.The star of the film wasn’t the only one with a cool design. Sometimes the CGI was spotty, but when it came to the side characters the creativity was there. You can tell the design team put a lot of thought and imagination into bringing these characters to the silver screen.
What The Hell
There isn’t much to compliment this movie on but David Harbour, Milla Jovovich and Daniel Dae Kim all had good performances, and they did their best to elevate the script but there are many times where the movie makes you ask – what the hell am I watching?
First of all, this movie suffers from trying to stuff too much into a 2 hour film to the point that characters spend most of the movie just telling the audience what is happening. There are a few characters that are just plugged into the film just to give exposition and die, it’s comical at points. The relationship between Hellboy and his adoptive father Trevor Bruttenholm (Ian McShane) feels forced and the jokes are more eye-roll than funny. The chemistry between McShane and Harbour is as existent as Hellboy is the actual universe that we live in. The biggest problem with this is that their relationship is what plays a big factor into the film’s climax scene and when everything happens the payoff isn’t there.
Even with the bad CGI, the terrible jokes, and the sloppy plot, the most insulting thing about Hellboy (2019) is the complete misuse of its R-rating. Some studio executives were (probably) sitting in their offices when they saw the wads and wads of cash that an R-rated comic book movie can make; said “Look pal, let’s do this but take away everything that made it a success” and here we are. The – and I use this word loosely – jokes and the humor in this film try to be edgy but come off as lame as if this movie is cosplaying a superhero film. With the R-rating comes an opportunity to make the action and violence more graphic, but Hellboy doesn’t even do that. Instead we get a film that uses the most fake looking CGI blood in a non-ironic way and again, makes you ask, “What the hell am I watching?” It would be one thing if Hellboy functioned as a parody of the genre it was in, but the film takes itself seriously and when it tries to show its humor the jokes aren’t funny. The scoring is jarring and some of the choices for songs distract and do not match up with the tone of the scene. If someone told you that this movie was made in 2002 and was released today then there would not be a reason to not believe them.
It’s fitting that an alleged work environment from hell created a film that felt like it rose from the pit of hell in Hellboy. The issues that happened behind the scenes made their way onto the screen and was perhaps the biggest waste of 50 million dollars in 2019. Director Neil Marshall did not have the opportunity to have the last say to the final cut of the film, and by what reports suggest the film had too many cooks in the
Hell’s kitchen. There were rewrites on There were a couple fun action scenes but the plot went everywhere (the on-set rewrites didn’t help) and our hero went to all corners of the earth with it. Wait for this one to come on the small screen if you must watch it. Fun fact: I stayed for the post-credit scenes too and if this movie thinks it’s going to get the sequel that it tried to set up then it’s going to be a cold day in hell before that happens.
[All Mames Wey]
Hellboy was released in theaters April 12, 2019.