Published on May 10th, 2019 | by voxx0
I believe most people had a fond place for the ‘Hellboy’ movies during the early 2000s. ‘Hellboy’ had a unique style, from Ron Perlman’s fantastic performance to its great pacing and action sequences that truly felt like a breath of fresh air in comparison to other films of the time. Whether it was through being more stylish than ‘Spider-man’, or being a giant step up in quality from ‘Daredevil’, I think it’s fair to say the first two ‘Hellboy’ movies and animated follow ups have safely cemented their place in the industry. However, with that said, the mystery of what happened with the third installment, a reboot of Dark Horse’s biggest hero, still remains.
David Harbour of ‘Stranger Things’ fame stars as the demon slayer, taking on not only a gory romp through England but also a lazily plotted adventure to prevent the return of the ancient villain known as Blood Queen (Milla Jovovich). And yes, she is as boring as she sounds. In this mess of a film, Hellboy is joined by Alice Monaghan (Sasha Lane), a psychic with strange abilities such as letting ghosts possess her mouth in grotesque CGI, and Major Ben Daimio (Daniel Dae Kim), an agent with the ability to turn into a werecheetah. Overall, the plot is confused, with flashback after flashback followed by a heavy dump of exposition. They tease concepts but then never go further into them, which is a shame.
I do however think the demons/creatures look very effective, and creepy in all the best ways. Something feels off with the CGI here, making them much more uncomfortable to look at, especially in a scene where Hellboy encounters a witch. That part in itself was so disgustingly horrifying that it chilled me to the bone, which is about the only high praise I can offer. A well-filmed fight against an army of giants was very creative too. A continuing longshot with the focus on Hellboy helped show the intense pressure of these creatures, and I admired that. Some of the other visuals were good, such as hell, and you have to compliment both David Harbour and Ian McShane (Professor Bruttenholm) for their dynamic and chemistry on screen. The father son relationship may have been a little repetitive, but I feel they still acted it well and made it believable, despite the anti-climactic conclusion.
Back to the film as a story, the pacing is horrible and it feels very rushed and forgettable. Certain plot details only come into play in the final act, and the script can’t seem to decide whether it wants to be a hard rated R Marvel movie or a horror. Both elements are mixed in here, and it rarely works out. At times it’s so bad it’s laughable, and the sountrack too is ridiculous. For some reason they decided that a heavy rock mental sound would be most fitting, but in reality it makes the action feel over the top and outside of fights it fails at delivering any sort of tension, angry guitar solos completely contradicting the tone towards the end.
In conclusion, ‘Hellboy’ 2019 is a disaster, but it’s a fun disaster to watch and there are still definitely some highlights. But is this enough to save it? It’s far from a great product and if you’re looking for dumb fun I’d absolutely recommend it, otherwise stay with the likes of Marvel and DC for the time being.
- By Samuel Wood