Hellboy (2004) – movie review

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Movie Review by EDF

Starring: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Jeffrey Tambor, Karel Roden, John Hurt, Rupert Evans
Director: Guillermo del Toro

Well it looks like comic writers will soon be writing scripts for Hollywood instead of passing their material to an artist who can draw an unfilmable drawing. In the past there have been great adaptations of graphic novels such as THE CROW, BLADE and the not so great adaptations such as THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMAN. Whether good or bad, these movies have made these titles better known. It was only a matter of time before the more unusual hero would have his movie moment and this time round it is the bizarre tale of Hellboy. With a mixture of freakish devilish looks (I don’t mean good looks either) and plenty of wisecracks that would rival Wolverine from the X-MEN, could this adaptation actually entertain?

From the opening 13 minutes, which introduces those nasty Nazis and the origin of Hellboy, the characters on the screen intrigue us. We move on to present day where we find that sightings of Hellboy have joined other paranormal phenomenon like UFO’s and the yeti. It is only fitting that the evil one should be working for the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense. Professor Broom (John Hurt) is in charge of this particular US government agency that constantly deny the existence of Hellboy (Ron Perlman) and other strange creatures. This cannot be easy since they send Hellboy and amphibian Abe Sapien (Doug Jones) to take down the forces of evil.

Playing a loner gets Hellboy into trouble with the powers that be and with the Professor not getting any younger, the young FBI agent John Myers (Rupert Evans) is recruited to keep an eye on Hellboy. This does not please Hellboy one bit and becomes jealous when he spies on Myers moving in on his pyro-kinetic girlfriend Liz Sherman (Selma Blair). While all this is happening, neo-Nazis are unleashing creatures that cannot be killed and are doing everything possible to lure Hellboy back to the dark side. Once this has been done, they plan to unleash Hellboy to destroy all of mankind.

It would be difficult to take this movie too seriously and the reason for that is that it looks like the cast and crew had fun making this. The lighthearted moments are funny and so are Hellboy’s quips. Ron Perlman is enjoyable as the freak from hell and with his do or die attitude when faced with opponents will only warm you up to the character. With it’s careful but at times obvious CGI effects, the action is passable. It is really the rapport between the main cast that make this as enjoyable as the X-MEN. Guillermo del Toro has taken his experiences of making BLADE 2 and has put together a slightly flawed but enjoyable movie. Roll on HELLBOY 2.

5 out of 6 stars