A demon raised by the forces of good must stop
an ancient sorceress hellbent on vengeance.
Directed by Neil Marshall
Written by Andrew Cosby
Starring David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane,
Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim
Reboot of 2004's Hellboy
Based on characters from Dark Horse Comics
I've defended this movie since they first announced it. Even when everybody was complaining that this wasn’t the third movie they wanted, I defended this reboot. It was going to be more faithful, fully embrace the R-rating, and it appeared to be perfectly cast. But then, the first trailer dropped. And people weren’t on board. But I held strong. Finally, the movie came out and I happily went to go see it. Unfortunately, this reboot of the successful comics left me completely disappointed. This should have been so much better.
I’ve seen movies that feel rushed. I’ve seen movies that cram too much into their story. But, very rarely, have I seen a film which successfully pulls off both. Hellboy feels like a trilogy packaged into one 2-hour long film. Add to that the absolutely rushed pacing and you have a film where I was never really emotionally invested at any point. Seriously, this movie jumps from plot point to plot point like the filmmakers were tripping on drugs the entire time. Basically, storytelling wise, this movie is a mess. But all is not lost. The cast at least rises to the occasion. The performances are strong throughout. Milla Jovovich seems to really enjoy playing a villain. And David Harbour, well, he is the one thing that doesn’t disappoint in my initial defense of this film. He completely owns the role and I will be sad if he never gets the chance to be in a better movie.
As I said before, I defended this film from the very beginning. I wanted to like it, but it seems to go out of its way to make you not instead. And what makes me extra sad is the talent involved, especially behind the camera. Neil Marshall is a fantastic director. This is the man who’s given us Dog Soldiers, The Descent, and even a couple Game of Thrones episodes. So, what happened here? It’s as if they focused so hard on the rating that the story and CGI suffered immensely. This isn’t the Hellboy movie we should have gotten. Hopefully, they’ll do a faithful, and far better, attempt in a couple of years.