Director: Neil Marshall
Writer: Andrew Cosby
Based on: Mike Mignola‘s character
Cast: David Harbour, Daniel Dae Kim, Sasha Lane, Mark Stanley, Brian Gleeson, Milla Jovovich, Penelope Mitchell, Ian McShane, Mario de la Rosa, Sophie Okonedo, Thomas Haden Church, Kristina Klebe, Stephen Graham
Seen on: 16.4.2019
Content Note: misogyny, lookism
Hellboy (David Harbour) works at the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defence together with his adoptive father, Professor Bruttenholm (Ian McShane). After a mission that did not go the way it was supposed to and that ends with Hellboy having to kill his partner and hearing that even worse is to come for him, he is not in a good place – and then he finds himself double-crossed to boot. And that’s not even the threat he was warned about. Teaming up with his colleagues Ben Daimio (Daniel Dae Kim) and Alice Monaghan (Sasha Lane), Hellboy has to face an ancient evil witch to stop the end of the world.
I really should have listened to the critics that seemed to unanimously pan this film, because, by god, it was so very bad. A waste of pretty much everything that went into the film.
Hellboy is a film filled with oneliners and that can be a whole lot of fun – when they work. Not one of them works here. They often make no sense (when they aren’t outright offensive) and more often than not, the comedic timing is just completely off. It’s a film that introduces a character (and I’m quoting almost verbatim here) as the “famous nazi hunter The Lobster” (Thomas Haden Church) and nobody in the audience laughed except for me – and I did so mostly out of a sense of obligation and not because it was actually funny.
The film might have been forgiven for its comedic failure if it had given us something else instead. Anything else. But emotionanlly, it doesn’t work in the slightest either. The pacing is just bad. Action seems to be defined as “what happens when loud rock music is playing”. And ther was just way too much CGI blood and gore.
I am partial to a good bit of gore, but the CGI just wasn’t good enough to pull it off. Just like with Hellboy’s fist that just looks like a fake plastic costume thing and never feels real in the slightest. The entire film just looks very bad and nothing works about it. To top it all off, the two biggest villains – Nimue (Milla Jovovich) and Baba Yaga (Emma Tate) – just happen to be female witches in plots with decidedly misogynistic under- and overtones.
I don’t know what else to say than that the film is a waste of time and talent. Don’t make the same mistake I made when I watched it.
Summarizing: Skip it. Widely.