Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #12 of my Month of Superhero Film Reviews! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. Now we’re gonna return to 2004 with the film adaptation of Hellboy.
Ah Hellboy, I remember seeing this in the cinema when it came out, I remembered it being pretty cool. Then over the years the more I watched it, the more unremarkable it became. I’ve actually only seen this film about 4 or 5 times but I’ve never really considered it a necessary buy for DVD because it’s on TV every so often. So now I’ve watched it again, has my opinion changed? Well read on and find out.
In terms of the plot here’s a small summary:
“In the final days of World War II, the Nazis attempt to use black magic to aid their dying cause. The Allies raid the camp where the ceremony is taking place, but not before a demon – Hellboy – has already been conjured. Joining the Allied forces, Hellboy eventually grows to adulthood, serving the cause of good rather than evil.”
What I liked about the story was how different it was, you had ties to the past linking to WWII, dark magic and supernatural happenings and gateways to other dimensions. It wasn’t your typical material. After seeing a lot of superhero films that follow the basic formula of having an origin story and then becoming a hero not long after, Hellboy’s story is totally different. His situation is different and he’s not your true blue superhero but he does have connections to villains in the film and it makes for an interesting story.
Now let’s talk about the cast because they were pretty cool for the most part. Ron Perlman as Hellboy was the best part of the cast hands down. Perlman has a great screen presence and was pretty funny throughout with his dialogue and actions. Also John Hurt as Trevor Bruttenholm was nice, he had some great lines in this film and I liked his character, not much to say really. Selma Blair as Liz Sherman was good, I like her character’s backstory and crazy powers. There was something mysteriously hot about Blair in this film and that point before she unleashed her powers near the end of the film was cool.
Rupert Evans as John Myers was nice, his character was sort of like the audience in the sense that he was being brought into this crazy new world after working with the FBI, so he’s experiencing all these new and unnatural things for the first time. As for Karel Roden as Grigori Efimovich Rasputin, he was very strange and mysterious and I liked that about him, though I don’t feel like he was that great of a villain as he didn’t feel a constant threat. Jeffrey Tambor as Tom Manning was decent, his character was a bit of a pain in the ass at first but he had moments of humour and eventually became a design character. And lastly Doug Jones as Abe Sapien was cool, his character had some really interesting powers and I liked his dialogue and strange yet funny scene and David Hyde Pierce who did the voice for the character should be given credit too.
Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is good, it is dark, kind of moody and has a good mix of practical and special effects. The CGI looks decent and it used to create some nice visuals and spectacle. I also really like the make-up and creature designs which are all wonderfully done in this film. This is another one of those film you can deal is directed by Guillermo del Toro, it has a nice level of violence, strangeness and has funky and interesting creature designs which is right up del Toro’s street if you’ve seen some of his other films. Also just wanted to point out that all the fight scenes with Karl Ruprecht Kroenen was awesome, the way he killed people in such a flashy fashion with such cool choreography was totally awesome. As for the soundtrack by Marco Beltrami is good, I like the way it composed and it seemed to work well for most scenes where music was involved. The score was mainly epic and loud, but found time to be softer and sometimes playful too which I appreciated.
And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well unfortunately I’ve never read any of the material from Dark Horse Comics, but according to the Wikipedia page on the origins of Hellboy the film seems to be pretty faithful to the story and characters involved just with a few modifications here and there.
So to conclude Hellboy is decent film, it has an interesting premise, a likeable and unconventional hero and enough action to satisfy most needs. I guess the reason I don’t love it is due to that fact that it looks awesome but doesn’t do much that makes it truly state out from the Batman, Spider-Man or X-Men films that inhabited the superhero genre space at the time and compared to today’s superhero films the same rule applies, the film is good, just not amazing.
Rating: 7/10 (It’s fun little movie but its nothing spectacular)
So there’s my review people, only 18 more to go. So have you seen Hellboy and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!