Hellboy: Itching That Old Scratch

This movie was metal as fuck. There was a lot about the movie I liked and even more that I loved, but unfortunatly there was too much that seem out of place and ultimatley tried too hard. The 2019 movie, directed by Neil Marshall, is based on the Dark Horse comics of the same name. In a lot of ways the movie captures the spirit of the comics far more than the Guillermo del Toro films. But it just didn’t capture the same story telling ability that made the character a main stream hit in the first place. That being said, it is a pretty kick ass film.

I like it when I see an R rating on a comic book movie, especially when it is a comic that I have read, and I feel the rating is deserving of the source material. Hellboy earns the adult rating. Throughout the film there is a level of graphic violence I haven’t seen on the big screen sence… well, ever. I literally saw a man skinned alive and had to watch him realize what had happened in horror. The entire movie is full of really amazing and brutal moments. But what made me disappointed was the fact that they were just ‘moments.’ I can tell you about the scene of Hellboy fighting a mexican luchador vampire… but it doesn’t lead to anything. There is this really cool scene where he fights giants in one long and epic CG fight shot, but it doesn’t add to the plot. Or the time he rides a dragon, but again that doesnt have anything to do with anything really. That was basically the entire film. I watched a really badass version of the character do a lot of really cool shit for no real reason.

I know most people going into the movie have some unecessary negativity because they want a third Ron Perlman Hellboy movie. And to those people I have to say, grow up. It has been over ten years. If the movie was going to happen, it would have happened. Anyways David Harbour is a far better Hellboy. I fucking love this iteration of the character. David looks, acts, and embodies the character from the comics perfectly. Hellboy to me has always been a sarcastic asshole that really only saves the world because he has nothing better to do. The rest of the cast is just as perfect. Ian MacShane is the best version of Professor Broom I could have hoped for. Sasha Lane returns to surprise me in a movie. Milla Jovovich is a creepy villain. And Daniel Dae Kim earns his recast. Not to mention Thomas Haden Church showing up as the coolest fucking cameo I’ve seen in a movie in a long time, possibly ever… but that might just be my bias because I am a fan of the comics, which is one of the movies biggest flaws.

For being a new version for the character, and trying to reinvent the franchise, this movie relies heavily on the audience knowing the source material. I understood a lot of references and easter eggs but I don’t think most of the general audience will. The film introduces a lot of characters as if you should have already known them. We should just accept that Hellboy has been fighting paranormal enemies for fifty odd years, but don’t know that history yet. When you introduce some interdimensional demon that Hellboy apparently has encountered before, the movie needs to show us that encounter instead of telling us about it. The movie could have done a better job painting the scene instead of acting like we were dumb for being lost. Regardless of how great the fight scene was between the two, I don’t really know why it happened.

Hellboy was a cool movie. Or should I say it was a bunch of scenes from five really cool movies spliced together. There were plenty of moments I thought “Man, if they would have just made this part the entire movie, it would be awesome.” This was an instance of trying to do too much too soon. There is a set up for a sequel at the end but I am not sure it will ever come…. you know what, I’m pulling an executive order on this one. Although it shouldn’t survive The Snappening I am using one of my ‘SIX INFINITY STONE SAVES’ to keep it alive. It was a better version of the characters and I really want to see a sequel. With a more solidified script it could be a great movie. Hellboy is about a demon meant to be hated and feared, rising up to be redeemed, while killing the fuck out of weird shit along the way. This movie has that and more. With a bonus of people being skinned alive.

 

Movie watched and review written by: Troy Smith

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