Sorry folks. Sorry it took me this long to write this review, but at least I have a half-decent excuse. Hey, working a full time job and planning a wedding takes way too much of my time. A lot of my time in fact. Between invitation planning, seating charts and cake ordering you might think that it’s actually fun and easy… but it’s not. It’s very stressful, time-consuming and money-draining. But here it is. The review for Hellboy.
Back in the Dark Ages, King Arthur with the help of the Excalibur defeated Nimue, the Blood Queen (Milla Jovovich) and stopped her from unleashing more plague and terror. He cut off her body in pieces and left those pieces on different parts of the land. In present times on the other hand… The Gruagach (Stephen Graham) wants to bring her back to life as a bit of payback (for no reason whatsoever) aimed at Hellboy (David Harbour), and Red will need all the help he can get. That’s where Alice Monaghan (Sasha Lane), the spirit medium comes in, and so does the shape-shifting soldier Ben Daimio (Daniel Dae Kim). But the challenge of stopping Nimue will prove to be much harder than initially expected.
Let me start of this review by saying that although Hellboy is a bad movie, it was honestly not as bad as everyone made it to be. Or as bad as I expected to be. Yeah, I heard about the bad reviews, and saw the Rotten Tomatoes’ score, and read the Tweets. Nope. Don’t get me wrong it is a mess, but a barely watchable mess. If you can look pass beyond the gore, the blood and the dismembering of course. My friend couldn’t. She left the movie theater half-way through the movie, and so did the 3 small kids in attendance. They were somehow sneaked into the movie theater by one of the kids’ mom and he had to ring her to come and pick them up. They were on the verge of tears and couldn’t finish the movie, for which I blame the parent. I mean it was an R-rated movie. What was she thinking? But I digress.
Like I’ve mentioned earlier… The Hellboy reboot is a very expensive mess. I suppose the screenwriters wanted to go so much in the opposite direction from the Del Toro’s movies that they ended up on the other side of the Earth. Literally. But the main character isn’t the only one that’s confusing and under-developed. The plot as well, the supporting characters, and from Martin expert’s analysis (he’s the one that actually read the Hellboy comics) the plot was actually taken from several different comics books. Which explains the mess. But over here we have plenty of characters, and by the end of the movie we barely remember half of them, and we just don’t care about any of them. Even Hellboy. The team behind the movie forgot one crucial thing. They forgot to make the characters memorable so we can become invested in their story. In their struggle. And over here, we even have 3 origin stories rolled into one. Not just Hellboy’s, but I failed to care about any of theirs.
Oh and speaking of Hellboy… He was reduced to a moody teenager with a bunch of one-liners. They were meant to bring comedic relief among all the gore, but just made him look weak and unimpressive. This is Hellboy for God’s sake. Not some hormonal teenager. But frankly, the man underneath the red suit seems to be the only taking some effort to truly bring the character to life. David Harbour was really trying his best to do the character some justice, but sadly the bad scrip was ruining his efforts on every stage of the movie. I mean the man can do so much. Milla Jovovich was your one-dimensional but very dramatically pompous baddie, and Ian McShane was well, wasted. He was in probably 5 scenes tops, and when he was in front of the camera he was left with a blank slate of a character. Like I’ve said. I barely made myself to care about any of the characters.
But the over-simplification and dumbing down of the entire plot kind of goes hand in hand with the over-reliance of the blatant CGI. The CGI was not that impressive, and in some scenes even a bit silly. But, although the director Neil Marshall was really trying his best to grab my attention, his efforts were ruined by the very basic and un-engaging script and the mess that was found in it. On every step of the way.
So, yeah. In a weird superficial way, I kinda enjoyed the movie, but that superficial level is a paper thin one. Like the movie itself, doesn’t’ go too deep. The effort is clearly visible, but the execution is less than satisfactory. It’s a shame. This reboot showed a lot of potential.