Hellboy Movie Review

After many years and with high expectations from the fans the third movie of the half demon superhero arrives.

This time the action film seems to be aimed at another type of audience, in fact, one of the changes that caught the attention was his change of censorship. The first two films were rated PG13 while this one is rated R, which anticipated epic fights and a lot of violence.

What we find when seeing this reboot has nothing to do with the previous films directed by the mexican creator Guillermo del Toro, in which he had brought us all his wit to show a universe of terror and fantasy that complemented in perfect pair with Ron Perlman, who formed this amazing chemistry with the director achieving a perfect interpretation for this complex character.

We all know the capacity of del Toro to elaborate mysterious and fantastic creatures in which we can notice the dedication and attention that he puts into the details. Both in the original film of 2004 and in the nice sequel of 2008 “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”, del Toro manages for us to feel empathy for each of the characters, good and evil, through excellent cinematography and intelligent dialogues.

hellboy movie review

The man in charge to direct this new version is Neil Marshall, known by his repertoire of terror films and by some credits directing television series between which we found the world-wide phenomenon “Game of Thrones”.

From the beginning, it was known that a new film would lead to comparisons and that following in the footsteps of its predecessors would be a great challenge.

On the positive side, we can say that Marshall, intelligently, chose a completely different path from that of the past stories, creating a character that manages to get away from the world that del Toro introduced to us.

Ron Perlman decided to leave the project when he knew that this time Guillermo del Toro would not be involved. This fact gave way to a new leading actor. Thus David Harbor (Stranger Things) gives life to a different Hellboy both in appearance and personality.

hellboy movie review

The counter-figure is represented by Milla Jovovich, the evil Blood Queen Nimue. A villain who was imprisoned and sliced into pieces thousands of years ago and who returns to take over the planet.

In this film, we see new infernal creatures and we begin to know some subplots which, although entertaining, end up overloading the film and distracting the viewer from the central story.

The use of CGI is abused and it is giving a result far from believable, even for this type of movies. It is obvious the absence of the inexhaustible imagination of Guillermo del Toro. Maybe at this aspect is where we missed him the most.

hellboy movie review

However, the horrible aspect and super violent attitude of these characters help us to overcome that detail.

The change of censorship was a subject that everyone talked about before the premiere and yes, it exceeded all expectations. Having an R-rated movie leaves a lot of freedom for the production of violent scenes. Thus, in this screening, we can see long terrifying and grotesque fights. Much blood and many butchered bodies that in general work quite well and respect the essence of Hellboy.

However, it is not prudent to abuse this effect. When the scenes become too explicit they end up saturating and being out of context, leaving them as isolated and out of place situations. Having said that, I’m sure the gore fans will enjoy these moments as there are one or two fights which are completely epic.

hellboy movie review

David Harbor offers a good interpretation of the character, this being the most positive aspect of the film. Although the big fans will miss Perlman, who by his physiognomy seemed predestined to play the hero, this Hellboy is more horrible, a little more eccentric and very funny taking advantage of some moments of tensión release to show off his characteristic sarcasm and showing black humor that we hadn’t seen before. All this without losing the essence of the character.

On the contrary, Milla Jovovich as ruthless Queen Blood Nimue, offers a very conventional and plastic interpretation. It is the typical villain with generic dialogues and no major surprises.

The script written by Andrew Crosby based on Mike Mignola’s Dark Horse comic series ends up being very flat and lacking in emotion at all times having predictable dialogues and cliches which can be quite boring.

Although the script raises an interesting story, the dialogues are quite predictable and the situations of surprise very limited.

hellboy movie review

Any character is explored deeply. Both, Hellboy and the main villain have interesting origins that could have been exploited, however, we know them very superficially. The plot is precipitated to try to quickly reach the climax of the story. This causes the loss of interest in history because the motivations of each character not explained.

As for the secondary characters, they are quite lazy and lack chemistry. We are facing these types of films in which everything helps us to identify with the hero to the point that it is no longer important to care what happens with the rest of the characters.

In a superhero movie one of the things that the spectator expects is good chemistry between good and evil, if we don’t get that, we’ll end up seeing a series of meaningless events in which each character tells his story without getting involved completely. More or less what happens with this film.

The main problem of the footage is its frequent jumps in time with many failures of continuity, the constant introduction of new characters and the subplots that overload both the story and the viewer. There are too many new elements and it is impossible to follow them completely. This ends up by the lose of interest in the main plot which causes the film to decay towards the second half.

The soundtrack is quite flat and without surprises except for some songs by Mötley Crüe and Alice Cooper that combine perfectly with the action scenes.

Regarding the cinematographic aspect, we are before a film without many technical pretensions. Photography, editing, and lighting are three of the aspects in which it fails. However, in terms of graphic content, Marshall managed to print the style of Mignola’s comic in each frame.

In general, the film has a fun and even entertaining touch but at one point it exaggerates in grotesque aesthetics, pushing it’s R-rating to the limit. The content ends up being unnecessary, messy and all over the place, giving the sensation of a too long forced film.

This footage promises to be the first of new chapters in the Hellboy new world. Somehow we can get an idea of ​​what the director is looking for and hope that the next episodes can improve the aspects that failed in this as Hellboy is a different hero that deserves to be part of a good story to see and tell.

  • watch now Watch Hellboy

    After years of hiding from a society that shuns him, Hellboy and his team attempt to stop the resurrection of an ancient witch who once spread an unstoppable plague before she was locked away by the legendary King Arthur.