Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.
Once again, we have proof that some reboots are just not a good idea. Yes, I admit that I was fairly excited about the new Hellboy after hearing that David Harbour was cast. The more I saw of it via pictures and trailers, the more promising the film appeared. While the film was decent, it was nowhere near the quality it could have and should have been.
The film follows the BPRD (The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense), led by Professor Broom and his adopted monster son Hellboy. The Bureau learns of a conspiracy to resurrect Nimue the Blood Queen, an ancient sorceress who was defeated and locked away by King Arthur himself. With time running out, Hellboy has to find a way to stop The Blood Queen before she puts an end to humanity.
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For anyone who isn't familiar with the BPRD or Hellboy, think of it like this: it's Supernatural and the main character is half human, half-demon but he's been taught to do good things and hunt down any creature that poses a threat to humanity. Simple enough? Good. So now, on to the actual review. I'm going to start with what I liked for a change. The general tone of the film was perfect. Hellboy was always a dark, nightmarish type comic and I felt the film's overall layout perfectly reflected that. I liked the creatures the film introduced. We saw a deranged vampire, witches, a sorceress, giants, secret organizations...everything that's straight out of Hellboy's weird world. The cast was brilliant. David Harbour was a fantastic Hellboy. I'd say he was just a notch below Ron Perlman, but not by much. Sasha Lane's Alice character was so much fun, I honestly wish we had seen more of what she could do. Ian McShane is always a joy to see on screen and Milla Jovovich is always a good choice no matter if she portrays a hero or a villain. It was also so much fun seeing Daniel Dae Kim go outside his usual range and tap into something new.
So, with all this good, what could I possibly have to be disappointed about? I'm glad you asked. There's three things that hurt this film: the story, the CGI, and the humor. First, let's look at the story. Writer Andrew Cosby stuffed so much side story into this film that there wasn't much room left for the main story. The creatures being hunted sporadically throughout the film brought some fun to the story but Cosby largely ignored progressing The Blood Queen storyline. I mean, she was the main villain after all. The final confrontation was over way too quickly. I felt cheated out of what could have been a massive spectacle. Secondly, the CGI wasn't terrible but it wasn't that good either. I was glad that they used practical effects as much as they could because the CGI was almost laughable. It really took you out of the film instead of drawing you further inside it. Lastly, the humor felt far too forced. It was almost like the joke jumped off the screen to scream "Laugh at me!" just for attention. Humor should be smooth and feel like it flows naturally rather than trying to force the audience to chuckle. Deadpool is a good example of the perfect balance between morbid and funny. While Hellboy is certainly no Deadpool, he's still a smartass and I didn't feel that at all with Harbour's interpretation, however, I feel that may be more of a writing problem than an acting problem.
In conclusion, Hellboy is worth a watch and it does have its fun moments. Unfortunately, there's more wrong than right with this film. The studio should have just let Guillermo del Toro make his sequel. Who knows, maybe this Hellboy will get a sequel that blows all of them out of the water. I give the film a 2.5 out of 4.
© 2019 Nathan Jasper