- David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane
- Andrew Cosby
- Neil Marshall
- 18A (Canada), R (United States)
- Running Time
- 121 minutes
- Release Date
- April 12th, 2019
For our earlier review of Hellboy, click here.
In an age of arguably unnecessary reboots, this reboot of the Hellboy series may be the most unnecessary one yet. Instead of wondering whether or not they could, the filmmakers should have considered if they should as there is little reason why this film had to be made in the first place other than serving as a wet dream for some very sick people. At least we were spared from another origin story though with the sheer amount of exposition in this film, it felt like another origin story. However, not often have so many words meant nothing as the ridiculous story here, for which there is no point in fully explaining, made no sense more often than not. Suffice it to say that to truly enjoy this film, one must turn their brain off but this film certainly won’t make it easy.
In this film, Hellboy (Harbour) is an operative for the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense run by his adoptive father Professor Broom (McShane). Just like in the previous film incarnation of the character, he was a boozing, wisecracking anti-hero but as opposed to those films, this version of the character possesses no personality whatsoever and was instead restricted to incredibly corny one-liners. For no reason, the story moved to London if only to bombard us with bad British accents. Hellboy would be on the heels of Queen Nimue otherwise known as The Blood Queen (Jovovich) who would have something evil up her sleeve and it would only get increasingly ridiculous from there.
If there’s one thing the film does right, it was creating the film world. While the special effects on the many creatures here were truly atrocious, the work to bring this version of Hellboy to life was better than expected. He definitely looks different than in the Del Toro films but the makeup work here still felt a little too restrictive. Not only was the story nonsensical and ridiculous, the mediocre dialog didn’t help either. The action scenes were just as nonsensical as atrocious looking monsters fought in terribly edited sequences which make Mile 22 look better in comparison. However, the biggest takeaway from the film will be its unnecessary gratuitousness from lots of swearing to so much blood and gore that it will make you sick.
The acting was okay for the most part but it could only go as far as the material and the direction can take it. Harbour was fine as Hellboy though was kind of handcuffed by the material and it sometimes wasn’t clear where he ended and the special effects began. The makeup didn’t allow him to emote all that much though this was never an emotional film. Meanwhile, Jovovich hammed it up as Queen Nimue intentionally or not while uttering some horrendous dialog. McShane coasts here as Professor Broom, using his natural gravitas.
Let this film serve as a lesson for anyone thinking of rebooting a film series.
*still courtesy of VVS Films*