You know, it’s impressive that Hellboy has already had so many movies.
With 2 directed by the creative-spectacular that is Guillermo Del Toro, a third now joins the fray thanks to The Descent Director Neil Marshall (who also directed the incredible BLACKWATER episode from Game Of Thrones).
Yes, THAT Descent.
So does a spooky, action-heavy, sometimes dramatising Director hit the right spot with the latest Hellboy?
Based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, Hellboy, caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battles an ancient sorceress bent on revenge.
You ever heard of a sizzle reel? Basically it’s like a promo to sell the audience on something. That’s what Hellboy (2019) feels like; A giant sizzle reel.
And this is kind of indicative of the stories it’s adapted. Mignola confirmed that the film draws “inspiration” from Darkness Calls, The Wild Hunt, The Storm And The Fury and bits and pieces from other stories such as Hellboy In Mexico, and the film feels like that; Moreso when you factor in the heavily rock-orientated soundtrack that crashes itself into your eardrums frequently.
OH! And also some of the actual scene transitioning! Like holy eye-burning heck you are thrown drastically between night and day and your visual receptors are absolutely not ready for it (well mine weren’t…).
Related to this is also some CRAZY MAGIC spatial referencing. There was one scene where I have no idea how they ended up in 3 different spaces; A wild time was had.
“The way to hell is paved with good intentions” and this is true, especially with the way David Harbour believed in the film in the lead-up to release. It feels truer to the comic, with unintentional gore (but gore nonetheless) coloring the darkly-tinted world, Broome’s (played by the always great Ian McShane) relationship with Hellboy feeling more fatherly and an expanded BPRD that sees Daniel Dae Kim play Benjamin Daimio with extravagant sass.
But much like the prosthetic on Harbour’s face, it’s unmoving in it’s intention to do anything but simply sizzle. It’s fun! But it also just…is.
A truly great ending sequence and mid-credits scene sprinkles hope in the idea of a sequel, but it might not have enough fire in the engine to propel itself toward it.
But Hellboy still has 2 films more than others…and one heck of a sizzle reel.
He's a fun boy, but also a...vanilla boy? He's not dull, but he's not full? He's just HELLBOY and he has a fun romp through about 500 stories and then it's over.