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.

“Hellboy” reboot announced

Hello there, ladies and gentlemen of the internet, I hope you’re all having a good day. As you read in the title of this post, a reboot of the “Hellboy” movie franchise has been announced. Now, this was announced earlier this week, but I had to take a few days to really think about this. For those who have lived under a rock for the past 15 years, “Hellboy” is a movie directed by Guillermo Del Toro, based on the comic book series of the same name written by Mike Mignola. The movie starred Ron Perlman as the titular hero. It also got a sequel in 2008 called “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”. Both of these movies were critically acclaimed, being loved by both critics and general audiences. For the longest time there were rumors and speculation regarding a third movie in the series, something both the fans, the star, and the director wanted. So Del Toro had a meeting earlier this year with Perlman (Or Da Perl, as he lovingly called him) and Mignola regarding the possibility of “Hellboy 3” happening. It was then announced that it wouldn’t happen, which made a lot of fans (including myself) really fucking sad.

Sad Hellboy representing us fans.

Skip ahead a few months to earlier this week and we get an announcement that a new “Hellboy” movie is being made. Then it turns out it’s a reboot that doesn’t include Del Toro, Da Perl, Doug Jones, Selma Blair, or any of the people from the first two movies. Instead it would be directed by Neil Marshall, the director behind the very popular horror film “The Descent”, as well as directing episodes of “Game of Thrones”, “Constantine”, “Hannibal”, and “Westworld” (among a bunch of other things). And the titular red one would be played by David Harbour, the man who most people probably know as Sheriff Jim Hopper from Netflix’s “Stranger Things”. And this is why I needed to take a few days before I actually talked about this rebootification. Because I’m a huge fan of the two “Hellboy” movies, so if I had written anything right as it was announced, I would probably have nothing but negative things to say, and I’m only human so change is obviously not something I’m happy with. But now that I’ve taken a few days to think about it and I’m ready to say something.

Lower the gun, Red. We have to be calm and reasonable.

While I’m not the most thrilled to be getting a reboot of this series, I am not 100% against it. The director has made some good stuff, and while I haven’t seen “The Descent”, people seems to love that movie. Plus, the shows I mentioned before are good, so I know that the man has serious talent. And while I would have loved to see Da Perl don the Red makeup and prosthetics again, David Harbour is a good choice for the role. The man is big, and his performance in “Stranger Things” has me convinced that he can do the gruff but still good-hearted style very well. My biggest problem here is how the effects will be handled. The original movies had amazing creature effects, both practical and CGI. So this rebootification has some big fuckin’ shoes to fill. I forgot to mention, this reboot will apparently be rated R. I haven’t read the comics, so I don’t know if the age rating can serve the story in any way. If someone out there has read the comics, please tell me if the R-rating can be justified for the movie.

So in conclusion. I’m not too excited for this reboot, but I’m not gonna hate on it too much either, because there are some genuinely talented people behind it. I just needed to get this out there because I love the movies so much. Feel free to share your thoughts on all of this in the comments.
Have a good one.

HB: Is this asshole for real? AS: It seems like it. HB: Damn.