From the pits of Hell, I sort of wish "Hellboy" would have just stayed there.
The big release this weekend is the re-boot of "Hellboy," the newest film based on the cult-favorite comic book hero created by writer/artist Mike Mignola in the mid-90s. Because it’s a reboot and not a sequel, this has nothing to do with the 2004 "Hellboy" movie, or its sequel, the 2008 "Hellboy 2: The Golden Army." And that's a good thing, from their perspective.
The new actor under the Hellboy makeup is "Stranger Things"’s David Harbour, replacing Ron Perlman, and gone also is the original films’ writer and director, Guillermo del Toro. Taking over the directing duties is Neil Marshall, a guy known mostly for his work in TV, on shows like "Constantine," "Hannibal," "Game of Thrones" and "Westworld."
All of this new blood equals bad news for the character and for the franchise, because this new "Hellboy" is a complete disaster. David Harbour is fine in the role, and while there are bits of funny dialogue here and there – a defining trait of the character – it’s not witty or consistent enough to make you care. The story is pretty lame too, and a lot of the acting and even the visuals that make up Hellboy’s world are just dull and boring.
But worst of all, this re-imagined version of "Hellboy" is R-Rated, which in this instance just allows for f-bombs to be inserted needlessly into nearly every sentence, and for there to be just an insane amount of gore and violence. So much so that it well enters the territory of gratuitousness. A good horror movie, for example, can use ultra-violent images for shock, or a war movie may depict extreme violence as a way to show realism….but the violence in this version of "Hellboy" is so needless that it just makes you shake your head and wonder who – in hell – this movie is even for.
I’m a big fan of the comic book, and I remember really enjoying the Ron Perlman "Hellboy" movies. But I’m sorry to say that this "Hellboy" goes down in flames, hard. In fact, it may be the worst movie yet in 2019.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy.
Run Time: 2 hours 1 minutes.
Starring: David Harbour, Ian McShane, Milla Jovovich, Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim.
Based on the comic book by writer/artist Mike Mignola.
Directed by Neil Marshall ("Centurion," "Doomsday").
In theaters April 12th, 2019.
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