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'Hellboy' (2019) Review

Hellboy is a 2019 supernatural superhero film based on the Dark Horse Comics character of the same name. Directed by Neil Marshall, the film stars David Harbour in the title role, alongside Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim, and Thomas Haden Church. Hellboy was produced by way too many people. It is a reboot of the Hellboy film series, and the third live action film in the franchise.

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.

Hellboy really disappointed me. I didn't have very high expectations going in to it, especially after watching the trailers, but I was at least hoping it would be a dumb fun action flick. It unfortunately wasn't.

I'm a huge fan of both the Guillermo del Toro and Ron Perlman films and I definitely would've preferred then to finish their trilogy, but with that being said I held no grudge against this film. I went in hoping this would be good, but it just wasn't.

I didn't think it was as bad as most critics say, and it was actually pretty good at some parts. But Hellboy had a ton of problems, mainly with the writing and script. It also struggled with pacing. A lot of the decisions they made just didn't work.

This film felt like it was fighting against itself. With 15 credited producers, I'm not surprised. Things are brought up and never mentioned again, and the pacing was really lacking.

I thought the writing was very poor. Most of the script was exposition and flashbacks every 20 minutes, but a lot of the exposition felt unnecessary.

Again, I didn't think the film was terrible and not nearly as bad as most critics say, but I didn't think it was great.

I really liked David Harbour as Hellboy. He was no Ron Perlman, but it was as close as you could get. In terms of comedy, I thought he was excellent. I loved how he was able to switch from a funny guy to an angry demon so effortlessly.

I also enjoyed Milla Jovovich. I thought she did a solid job bringing life to a half decent villain.

I didn't think the rest of the cast was great. It was even bad sometimes, but for the most part most of the performances were very lifeless and wooden.

With the exception of David Harbour and Milla Jovovich, the cast wasn't great and really fell flat. I think a lot of it had to do with bad writing, but regardless it wasn't great.

I think the plot looked good on paper, but the execution was poor. The film moved from point A to point B in a hurry. The film was fast paced and the first scene built to the second scene and the second scene led to the third. Which is good on paper, but the first scene wasn't that memorable leading to the second scene being unmemorable and so on. This led to the entire film being pretty forgettable.

There are some good moments in here. One in particular evolving some giants, but as a whole really forgettable. There's a few times where Hellboy kinda came off as whinny that I didn't like. Again a lot of poor decision and really poor script.

What might have been good on paper just didn't work, and the plot of the film really fell flat.

Hellboy just didn't do anything exceptionally great. As a whole the acting wasn't that great. The plot fell flat. There were some good action scenes, but for the most part they weren't that great. The CGI was OK. I wasn't the biggest fan of the score. The film never really had a clear tone, and it seemed to be going in so many different directions with so many different ideas that in the end it just wasn't that good.

I did think it was a lot better than what most critics say. I think there are some people that will enjoy this film. There is some fun to be had while watching Hellboy, but I just didn't think it was enough to overcome all the problems it had.

Ultimately, Hellboy was a disappointment and just wasn't that great. It wasn't terrible, but it's also not good.

© 2019 Royce Proctor