It’s been 11 years and Hellboy has finally returned! Except, this time, something is a bit off!
In the most recent episode of the Watchlist I talked about the first two Hellboy movies in preparation for this reboot. I’m glad I watched them first because if I didn’t I would’ve been stuffed!!!
Hellboy 2019 is a complete mess! I don’t think I have seen such a messy movie since Justice League. Apparently this is to do with the huge amount of studio interference. From what I’ve read the movie wasn’t even an R rated ‘thing’ until they were halfway through filming and apparently David Harbour and Ian McShane took turns at rewriting the script. One of the things I praised the original Hellboy movies for was a lack of studio interference.
The first thing that’s wrong with the movie is in the opening scene. We’re instantly thrown into a flashback that has nothing to do with Hellboy. We start off back in King Arthur times. It shows him decapitate the main villain, dismember her and put her limbs in boxes to spread across the land. (Also, she isn’t dead!)
Pretty much everything that is wrong with this movie is on display in this opening scene. While this scene is playing out Ian McShane is explaining what’s going on in a serious tone while also inserting some swear words to lighten things up. The actual flashback is quite serious while also trying to be comical. On top of that the CGI, the colour pallet and editing are horrendous and the main problem with this opening is it’s just so goofy. I couldn’t stop myself laughing at how stupid this whole sequence is.
It’s also so dumb to put an evil witches’ limbs in boxes and spread them across the land. Why not just burn all of the limbs or just chop her up into salami slices so there is no way she can come back and take over the world. This whole opening sequence is probably some of the worst 5 minutes I have seen in a movie. (It can only get better from here.)
Let’s talk about the main man himself who is quite disappointing. I’m very grateful that Ron Perlman isn’t in this movie and after seeing this he’s still my Hellboy. David Harbour’s portrayal I felt quite mixed on. He’s got the look and the basic persona of the character right but I can’t get behind any serious scene with him in it. When it’s time to get serious he screeches every line and it’s quite bad. It also doesn’t help that his character development is a bit all over the place.
His backstory was just crammed into this movie and it is a clone of the first movie’s opening sequence but at least in the 2004 version it doesn’t bring the whole movie to a halt. That’s another thing, be prepared for a lot of exposition dump scenes. They’re all just long drawn out scenes of people explaining the plot and you’re not given enough time to process it before they move on to something new.
Back to the characters. Hellboy meets some potentially fun characters along the way who join his team. The problem is these characters just show up and he lets them tag along for the rest of the movie and we’re given no reason to care about them.
There is a fair amount of action and gore in this movie but most of the action is terrible. It’s sloppily edited and sometimes the camera is so close to the action you have no idea what’s happening. Especially for that fight with the giants which was really bad. These scenes are always played over some heavy rock music or just any popular song played with an electric guitar. It just makes these scenes feel more campy and dumb which is fine for the big bad giant fight, but it’s also played in more serious moments and that’s when you remember this movie is supposed to be a comedy.
The movie is rated R and I don’t really understand why. It’s got an excessive amount of gore which is cool for those extra kills but sometimes it goes a bit too far and the gore quickly outstays it welcome. That’s about it – there is a couple of swear words, zero sex, but a bit of nudity and a lot of disgusting looking imagery. Some of the character designs look pretty good, especially that lobster old lady thing. (I’m not a fan of contortionists.) I also like that Hellboy is looking a lot less sunburned compared to the original version.
This movie is trying way too hard to spawn a Hellboy franchise. It’s kind of like 2015 Fantastic 4 bad as both movies have very bad tonal issues and are completely botched by these money grabbing studios. It’s just trying to copy Marvel’s formula while also failing to be a competent film. Maybe if Lionsgate left Neil Marshall alone, like Guillermo was with the original movies, I have a feeling it would have turned out better than what we got. (When will they learn?) This movie does have post credit scenes just like Captain Marvel and Shazam. I stayed for the first one and didn’t even bother watching the second because I really didn’t care.
Hellboy sucks ass! A very bad misfire on everyone’s part. It also really isn’t that fun and when it is fun it’s for the wrong reasons. The bad outweighs what little good this movie has to offer so my rating is a sad old 1 to 2/10. It definitely deserves The Blog Complainer’s Epic Fail Seal. So if you’re conflicted as to whether to watch this movie I’ve just have given you multiple reasons not to see it. Watch Shazam again or Captain Marvel for the 80th time. Or, better yet, watch the original Hellboy movies as they’re way better and the whole family can watch it too.
Hopefully I done with Hellboy for awhile, but I know I’m not done with superheroes as there is more coming. I also have more posts planned in the coming days so until then I have been The Blog Complainer, Signing Out.