If you didn’t like this movie fuck you, that’s all I have to say, end of review.
Haha ok no, might’ve been a little hasty there.
Yeah so like every other sentient being on this planet I saw this movie and I was just like ‘why does this need to exist?’ And it seems that that feeling has permeated to the core of the entire movie watching world so deep that they’ve forgotten how to actually enjoy a fun movie. In fact they wouldn’t even know one if it slapped them upside the head with a giant’s dong.
I’m one of these complete plebs that hasn’t read nor has any desire to read the hellboy comics so I wasn’t particularly interested in the Ron Pearlman movies. I thought they were kind of ok, they were watchable, like if they came on tv while I was cooking or something I wouldn’t turn them off because I liked the practical effects or whatever. They were ok, pretty much anything with like occult nazis and I’m interested but I was never really blown away by the movies. They were just sort of middling monster movies that were castrated for children, where all the gore became gunge or something. Not having read the comics I can’t attest to what demographic they’re aimed at but I hardly think a comic about a demon spawn killing monsters is aimed at kids.
Which is kind of ironic because the biggest criticism I see about this movie is that it’s a cynical cash in on the franchise during the superhero craze dying down now. But it’s not even aimed at kids, it’s a hard swearing gorefest hard R rating so which ones are the cynical cash grabs again? The ones made pg-13 to sell mcdonalds toys or the ones where hellboy cleaves a giants head in two with a sword the size of a minibus?
I dunno, I feel like I’m taking crazy pills here, and if you swapped the original hellboy movies with this one in terms of the time period it would be Ron Pearlman getting his dick knocked in the dirt.
What I’m trying to say is like me everyone cynical prick (me included) and their grandmother was ready to hate this movie because super hero fatigue has set in hard and it’s here to stay and people were more ready to give the Pearlman movies a fair shake because at the time we were only getting the tip of the cape shit fuckening that was to occur soon after leaving us all feeling sore and deeply ashamed as a culture.
Because I’m sitting here watching this movie, ready to hate it every moment of it (and the beginning bit sort of sucked) but this funny thing starts to happen about the time where hellboy is fighting three giants straight out of trollhunter or attack on titan mano e mano; I start to have this funny feeling, this tingling sensation that some scientists have called ‘having fun’.
The movie is just fun as all fuck. It’s balls to wall action and gore and just bad ass. There are bits of this movie that just had me reeling, it was just so gorey and awesome looking I wasn’t sure what I was looking at. It blends practical and digital effects really nicely and I think the tone is really cool, where it’s kind of light hearted but then it’s as violent and as gorey as a horror movie, so you get almost a black comedy vibe from it.
The movie is a good two hours long but there’s so much going on it doesn’t feel like a slog and even when you reach the halfway point so much has happened the first half could’ve been it’s own movie. In some respects the plot is a little rushed and not amazing but it has a solid structure where at the halfway mark he’s confronting the main villain and not having what he needs to defeat her he has to go back and measure himself.
The main cast are passable, I don’t know what accent Daniel Dae Kim was attempting the girl is kinda bleh, and it kinda wreaks of diversity woke squad where the only white man on the team is red. But David Harbour is great in this movie. The worst part of the original movies for me was the hammy acting from Pearlman. I like him, I think he has a cool voice and someone thought he’d be a cool hellboy but I think he was too old to play hellboy even then and now it would be ridiculous. You need someone old enough to be a tough cool Ron Pearlman character but also young enough to be a kind of a punk kid sometimes. The bits where Pearlman is acting like a brat in the original movies is so forced and lame and his self loathing just felt silly, like he was doing a rainman impression. I think Harbour is a lot more realised as Hellboy, he brings a lot more consistency and personality to the role, I just felt like his interpretation was a more three dimensional character instead of just Ron Pearlman painted red. I felt like his struggle with his humanity was more potent and less shlocky.
I think the villains could’ve been better, I loved the changeling pigman he was awesome, when you first meet him it’s almost stomach churning the level of unbridled carnage he wreaks on people. You really feel like if you encountered this thing you would shit your pants. But Milla Jovovich as a villain was unremarkable, it was just Milla Jovovich being herself, she didn’t look particularly interesting, she was sort of too likeable as villain. But I guess the point of the story is that Hellboy is his own worst villain so it kind of makes sense that his villains aren’t as interesting as he is. Because the battle is between himself, either he gives in to his demon nature and conquers the earth or he beats his demonself and saves humanity from… himself.
Overall it’s just a solid fun, no nonsense, not giving a fuck movie I think will be a cult classic. And I don’t think it’s a cynical cash grab I think someone saw deadpool and logan and were like “Why don’t we do the hellboy movie we want to do where people say ‘fuck’ and get torn apart by a giant pigman in the most grotesque way possible?”
It’s a no holes barred action gorefest like that isn’t possible today, legitimately I’m not being objective. I’m holding this movie up against the sterile cynical mass produced comic book prepackaged action shlock we get today like every marvel or in some regards even the John Wick movies that don’t really take any risks, they just set up action set pieces and then string them together with a loose plot no one cares about.
What I’m trying to say is I don’t think this movie was phoned in, I can tell when someone doesn’t give a shit and I can’t look at a single frame of this movie and say that someone didn’t love this. Even things as simple as the sets and some of the shooting locations I just had to stop and say it looked good. This movie looks good, it’s fun, it’s action packed, it’s not neat, it’s not clean, you can’t take your mum or your girlfriend to it, you can’t have soylent drinking thin bearded will wheaton ass motherfuckers soy smiling while they tell you how bad ass it is when thor was playing fortnite. There isn’t some forced shitty joke mandated by their corporate office to be instituted every ten minutes, this movie isn’t made in a factory. I think we’ve been so programmed by these factory farm movies coming out of the comic book industry we don’t know how to watch a movie not made in that mould. This movie fucking breaks the mould and takes a demon sized dump on it. Actually fuck it, I think I might start reading the comics just to see which was a closer adaptation. That’s how you know you watched a good comic book movie, where you actually want to go read the comics it’s based on. You literally can’t do that with marvel because there are like a million different versions of every character. You can’t walk into to a comic book store and just ask to buy a spiderman comic without spending a couple thousand hours on wikipedia first to decide which fucking spiderman in which timezone in which dimension.
Don’t take my word for it, watch it and make up your own mind, and I guarantee even if you didn’t like it, you’ll have fun with it. I’m looking at this through the lens of the previous movies and the castrated garbage we’re force fed daily from the comic book empires, and it looks good.