Hellboy (David Harbour) is caught in between worlds of the paranormal and the living. He must stop an evil sorceress (Milla Jovovich) from taking over the world.
Director: Neil Marshall
Cast: David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim
MPAA Rating: R for strong bloody violence and gore throughout, and language
Fun Fact: When filming was complete, Neil Marshall handed it over to the producers to make the final cut. Marshall was never promised final say of the film.
SCENE: MOVIE STUDIO EXECUTIVE BOARDROOM
Now this probably didn’t happen, but I wouldn’t be surprised that it did.
HEAD STUDIO EXECUTIVE: Ok people we need a new Hellboy movie. Del Toro is out along with Ron Perlman. So that means no Hellboy 3 like the fans want. Our best option is to reboot this thing, so what should we do?
GUY IN SUIT: I got it! After looking at the charts and numbers Rated R comic book movies like Logan and Deadpool are making money! Let’s make this movie dark, unnecessary gory, violent, and gritty! We’ll be making some serious dough!
HEAD STUDIO EXECUTIVE: I LOVE IT! MAKE IT NOW!
Now to the serious stuff. This movie was awful, and I thought I had drawn a line in the sand from the 2018 version of Robin Hood and the 2017 version of The Mummy. I didn’t think I was going to get this worked up again and again I questioned myself why I punish myself wasting a few hours on a perfectly good day watching this movie.
The film is flat out boring as almost every scene is exposition. There is constant explaining and talking about things rather than showing them. This makes the film drag on and goes at a snail’s pace. After watching only twenty minutes I thought I had watched an hour of it. The sad thing is that the movie isn’t that long. Without credits it clocks in at under two hours. The exposition scenes go on and on that when an action scene pops up you get surprised that something faster paced is happening and that ends quick. I have a confession to make as this is the first movie that made me fall asleep. Yes, as in closing my eyes and having to wake up and rewind where I fell asleep at. Sure, I put in movies all the time when I want something to fall asleep to, but this is the first time that I fell asleep during a review process. I asked myself why bother continuing with this? Well I wanted to get this review in for you guys, so I continued.
Director Neil Marshall is known for some interesting visual films like Doomsday and The Descent. The one thing that this movie has for it is that it looks nice. It felt like a true comic book movie. The effects are a mixed bag of good and mediocre. There’s one scene where Hellboy is fighting some giant characters and you could tell it was green screened because he sticks out like a sore thumb. I think it would’ve been a little better if practical effects where used as it would make the other monsters look like they’re there. This isn’t enough to save the film though and it’s a shame because the visuals are decent to look at. A thing that brings it down is that it’s gory for a comic book film. When the action scenes are going on it gets gory repeatedly. Why do we need to see that in a comic book film? Is it just because the studio wanted an R rating?
The script written by Andrew Cosby is all over the place. There’s a basic plot that we see in every other comic book film. Bad person wants to take over the world. What will they do with the world once it’s taken over? Who knows because why bother caring about it? There are subplots that go no where or not mentioned again. Every time something of a subplot was happening, I thought the movie would have something going for it. Sadly, I was wrong with it. Hellboy’s characterization felt off to me. He just seemed so whiny and had a bunch of Dad issues to him that I don’t know, I just couldn’t get behind him. With this script we get some ok performances. David Harbour was fine, but nothing spectacular. Harbour doesn’t have much to work with here in the first place. Milla Jovovich has been in some critically blasted films, but she was probably the best thing in this movie in the acting department.
Overall, this version of Hellboy is one of the worst comic book movies that I’ve ever seen. The film drags on and it feels like forever to get to the end. The script is plagued with exposition and not enough showing. The action scenes end quick and it’s brought down with the amount of gore to them. This isn’t the goriest film I’ve ever seen, but it’s a comic book movie and it should be fun. The studio was obviously shooting for the R rating and it’s a shame that Neil Marshall didn’t have a final say in his vision of the movie. Once again, a film like this proves that some studio executives and producers shouldn’t have all the final say and just let the director’s do their jobs. While it is visually appealing it isn’t enough to save it though. I want to end on a quote from Jason from Jason’s Movie Blog and that’s to Hell with this movie!