Director: Neil Marshall
Starring: David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Daniel Dae Kim, Sasha Lane, Thomas Haden Church
Runtime: 121 minutes
Continuing the Hollywood comic book movie boom, we’ve got ourselves a reboot of Hellboy. Starring David Harbour as the titular character, Milla Jovovich as Nimue, Daniel Dae Kim as Ben Daimio, Sasha Lane as Alice Monaghan, and Ian McShane as Trevor Bruttenholm. Hellboy tells the tale of the return of Nimue, the blood queen returning to end humanity. The only thing standing in her way is Hellboy and agents from the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense.
I think the biggest problem this movie has is the story. It’s a bit straightforward, or at least it should be, but they throw in a lot of background and side stories. It’s mainly about Hellboy trying to stop Nimue from ending humanity with a plague. That’s the connective thread running through the movie, and that’s fine. It’s not the most original story, but it’s fine and it makes sense. But on top of that, there are flashbacks that explain not only the origin of Hellboy but also Ben Daimio and Alice Monaghan. The movie starts with a flashback to King Arthur times for an origin on Nimue. That’s four flashbacks and two too many.
The CGI and special effects have a weird balance throughout the movie. There’s a lot of fake blood throughout the movie, and it’s bad “this doesn’t look like liquid” fake blood. Some of the bigger action scenes are really bad, and you can tell when it’s a guy jumping and rolling around in front of a green screen. But then, at the same time, the monsters and creatures all look really good. David Harbour as Hellboy looks fantastic. I also think he’s a really good Hellboy. I’m not a hardcore fan of the comics, but from what I know it’s a good take on the character. And mostly, I think the acting throughout the movie is good. I think the weakest performance from a character might be Milla Jovovich, but I chalk that up to the generic feeling her villain has, more than anything.
The most entertaining part of this move is the action scenes. Even the ones with bad CGI are a lot of fun to watch. And even though it’s fake, there’s a lot of blood and violence through the whole thing. There’s a pretty rocking soundtrack on top of the action as well. They picked good songs that fit the tone the movie is going for. Towards the end, when it leans a bit more on a darker horror theme, some of the violence starts to get gratuitous, but it reigns it in before it becomes overkill. This movie certainly isn’t going to be for everyone, but there’s a lot here to enjoy. I’m not a diehard fan of the comics, so I can’t say for sure what those types will say about this. But if you want a fun, over the top violent, action movie, this is worth watching.
Hellboy has some bad special effects and a story that feels incredibly bloated, most of the performances are good, though, and the action scenes are fun to watch.