Movie Review: Hellboy (2019)

It should come as no surprise that I’m a huge fan of Guillermo Del Toro’s two “Hellboy” movies from the mid to late 2000s. They’re fun, character-driven, action movies filled with solid performances. So when a reboot was announced, I got scared. Then set pics came out, and I got less scared. And now I finally watched it. So let’s talk about it.

Ladies and gents… “Hellboy”… the rebootification.

When an evil blood witch (Milla Jovovich) is about to return, it’s up to Hellboy (David Harbour) and his allies to try to stop her. So now we have our plot. And it’s quite a mixed bag. On one hand, it’s an apocalyptic horror-fantasy, and on the other it’s a lighthearted monster romp, and it just clashes. Now, movies can switch between different tones and still work, we’ve seen it so many times. But “Hellboy” doesn’t have the flow to hold it up. Every tonal shift feels so sudden and unwarranted. And even if you take the scenes in on their own, they’re often so blandly written that I just didn’t give much of a shit. And that’s not how I want it. I want to give a shit, I wanted this to be a great story. But as it stands, it’s not great.

The characters in this are, like the story, a bit of a mixed bag. I see the potential in them, but they flip-flop around a bit much. Are they goofy comic action movie characters or are they broody soap opera ones? Both apparently. David Harbour plays the titular horned hero, a demon summoned from the depths of hell, raised to stop evil. He’s a bit of a jerk, but he’s also sometimes a decent enough dude. Seeing him learn more about himself is interesting, even if, as said before, he flip-flops a little bit. But I do think Harbour is good in the role, doing his best with the material he’s given. Next we have Ian McShane as Al Sweareng- I mean Professor Broom, Hellboy’s adoptive father. The reason I made that little joke was because in terms of writing, he feels like a watered down version of Al Swearengen from “Deadwood”.  I love “Deadwood”, but you can’t make everything “Deadwood” just because Ian McShane’s in it. Oh well, at least it’s an enjoyable performance. And Milla Jovovich plays Nimue, the Blood Queen, the movie’s main antagonist of the movie, and she’s fine in the role. Again, subpar material. We also get supporting work from people like Daniel Dae Kim, Sasha Lane, Stephen Graham, Thomas Haden Church, and more, all doing either okay or very well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Benjamin Wallfisch, and it was alright. It’s not exactly memorable, but it’s overall well composed. A lot of BWOOOOOM, some emotional strings, and some electronic enhancements, making a decently passable score. Then there are also a whole bunch of licensed tracks used throughout, and I swear, it feels like they went through several of my spotify playlists to pick out some of those tracks. Some of the tracks work fine in their respective scenes, and some are… meh.

Based on the critically acclaimed comics by Mike Mignola, this movie was directed by Neil Marshall, and I think he did an alright job with it. You can tell that he put a lot of work into shot composition and making sure scenes could flow decently well, making for occasionally fun action beats. But then the shit hits the fan again. The editing is really weird, making for some awkward cuts and moments. And let’s talk effects. Most of them are pretty good, both the practical and CG. But then we get to the blood and gore. I don’t mind that shit in a movie, it can be kinda fun or intense. But here it looks like someone tried rendering raspberry jam on a Windows 98, which really took me out of it when I started enjoying parts of the action scenes.

This movie has not been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 17% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 31/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,2/10.

I really wanted to like this movie, and it does admittedly have its moments. But in the end “Hellboy” (The Rebootification) is not really a good movie. It has a janky plot, meh characters, good performances, okay music, okay direction, and bad editing/blood effects. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Hellboy” (The Rebootification) is a 4,87/10. So I’d recommend skipping it.

My review of “Hellboy” (The Rebootification) is now completed.

You make me sad, movie.

Series Review: Reaper (2007 – 2009)

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The Devil went down to Georgia. He was lookin’ for a soul to steal.
He was in a bind ’cause he was way behind. He was willing to make a deal
When he came across this young man sawin’ on a fiddle and playin’ it hot.
And the Devil jumped upon a hickory stump and said “Boy, let me tell you what.”

Ladies and gentlemen, this is… “Reaper”.

Sam Oliver (Bret Harrison) is a slacker of the highest degree(ish). He basically had a pretty smooth ride through life. That all changes however when he on his 21st birthday finds out that his parents sold his soul to the Devil (Ray Wise) before he was born. So now Satan himself comes to take Sam’s soul. Or is he (cue “X-Files” theme)? While he isn’t coming to collect it in the literal sense, he still sort of does. Instead of instantly making Sam his slave or sending him straight to hell, the Devil makes Sam his very own bounty hunter who has to collect souls who have escaped from hell. And from that we get a “freak of the week” show that actually manages to weave it’s main plot into every episode perfectly. The best way I could explain the plot is that it is a mix of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Clerks”. Because, you know… Sam is a slacker who works retail with his friends who also takes down hellish beings. I can also say that they manage to weave so much humor perfectly into the plot as well despite the relatively serious idea. Don’t get me wrong, this show can be serious and actually do drama surprisingly well, but it also has some hilarious comedy in the plot. What can I say, it’s a perfect blend of stuff.

The characters in this show are all very colorful, interesting and really entertaining with their very varied personalities. Bret Harrison perfectly plays the character of Sam with both a mix of “What the fuck is going on” and “Well, I guess I have to save the day”. He doesn’t look like much but trust me, this guy got some serious talent. Tyler Labine plays his best friend and sidekick Sock and he is just awesome. Rick Gonzalez plays the third man in the gang, Ben, and he does a great job as well. Missy Peregrym plays Sam’s love interest, Andi. And you know what? She’s great too. She’s actually a great female character. You may have noticed that I saved one for a short while now. If you didn’t then you obviously didn’t read the last section where I mentioned “The Devil” who is played in this show by Ray Wise. And oh my god (I mean “Oh my Devil”) he is by far the best part of the show. Wise not only gives a really good performance but he also has some of the best, if not the best lines in the show. And Wise plays Satan perfectly! Every actor does in fact do a great job in this show.

I swear guys, I am looking for the person/people who did the score for the show because it’s really good and it would be fun to share it with you guys. So if you find them somehow then please share the info in a comment. However I can mention that the soundtrack to a pretty big extent is made up of licensed tracks that are really good and fit the not too serious tone of the show. It’s mostly rock/metal/punk songs and with my taste in music that means it’s pretty great. But if you hate those types of music, you might get annoyed with the use of the tracks in the show.

The writing for the show is excellent, with some surprisingly deep drama being created through the dialogue. And of course the writing is pretty fucking hilarious at the same time. The show also manages to create a pretty deep lore about the Devil and hell and demons and all things inbetween which I’m not gonna lie, impressed me a bit. They also got really creative with the escaped souls and the vessels Sam had to use to capture them with. Great job, writers of “Reaper”! It’s just so sad that the show got canceled so soon.

This show has gotten a little bit of mixed reception. On Metacritic (yeah, no Rotten Tomatoes this time) it has a score of 81/100. At least on season 1, season 2 has a lower score. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,9/10.

“Reaper” is a show that caught me off-guard in every way with a surprisingly good plot, great characters and acting, a great soundtrack, good action scenes, surprisingly deep lore and some hilarious comedy. Time for my final score. O potens ultima signant, conjuro te. My final score for “Reaper” is a 9,93/10. It gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Reaper” is now completed.

I am the dark lord of asses!