Before going into Hellboy a lot of terrible reviews started circulating around Twitter but we always try our best to go into every movie with a fresh mind and unbiased opinions. We truly want every movie to succeed. It’s important to remember that a lot of effort, hard work and love goes into every piece of cinema so we will always try to treat every single movie fairly and be as optimistic as possible. We will NEVER urge anyone not to see a movie, we’ll simply guide you on whether it’s the right movie for you, what worked and what didn’t. Sadly for Hellboy a lot didn’t work, and here’s why.
A Story with no direction:
The story of Hellboy is based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola. This movie follows, of course: ‘Hellboy, who’s caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human and battles an ancient sorceress bent on revenge’. From the moment this movie begins it’s all over the place, it constantly switches from different scenes and locations and the plot is going down so many different directions that after awhile it get’s difficult to keep up with, you’re left watching something that’s just pretty annoying.
Even from the beginning of the film you’re thrown into this plot which we know nothing about, it’s something to do with Hellboy’s friend turning evil. It was one of those things where we believe it will be explored later on in the movie, leading to one of those full circle moments where you’re left thinking ‘Oh thats why they showed us that’ when in-fact it really goes no where, the beginning of the film could be completely taken out from the final cut and it wouldn’t be missed. A big issue with Hellboy, is that it felt so stretched out and full of unnecessary scenes and plots that were simply not needed. By the time you reach the third act you’ve just about had enough and you’re eager to leave the cinema.
Pointless gore and swear words:
The thing most annoying with Hellboy is that it seems the people working on the movie got so excited by the fact it was R-Rated that they just packed the movie with unnecessary gore and swear words. A part of me genuinely felt like they took the finished script and added swear words in random places just because they knew they could. Maybe I’m a baby but I felt the movie contained way too many gory scenes and not because I don’t like them but because it felt like all they focused on was trying to shock the audience and be as controversial and disgusting as possible instead of focusing on the things that make a decent movie: an interesting plot and well developed characters.
However, a positive I will mention is that the CGI was at ‘most times’ very well done and believable. The makeup and designs of the monsters/creatures was seriously impressive, They were completely terrifying at times and the people who created them and brought them to life on the big screen deserve a lot of praise.
Bad acting and lack of character development:
When watching a movie, especially one as fast paced and full of action as Hellboy, I want to be immersed in the world and the plot, but the terrible acting left me almost laughing. David Harbour and Ian McShane were by the far strongest performers. Harbour tried his best to lead by example and did the best he could with what he was given, the rest of the cast however were quite disappointing. Sasha Lane played Alice Monaghan and Daniel Dae Kim played Major Ben Daimio, they were some of the weakest performers by far. They had plenty of screen time and every time they spoke I was left cringing, it just really didn’t feel right. Despite efforts, none of the characters weren’t developed or built on, they were all interesting enough and had plenty of flaws which could have been worked on but they really went nowhere with it, it’s a shame as there was a tonne of potential there.
I get the message Hellboy failed to deliver. It explored a character who feels out of place, who’s tough on the outside but a mere insecure child on the inside. He fails to appreciate what he already has around him and feels alone. Throughout the movie he struggles with a moral/ethical debate about whether he should be hunting and killing his kind just because they seem to be a threat, he’s simply a weapon and doesn’t feel comfortable with that, while he wants peace between monsters and humans he’s also aware it’s difficult for that to ever happen. That’s what Hellboy was meant to be, instead it was a messy plot full of action and unnecessary gore, humour and swear words. The monsters designs were in some ways remarkable and David Harbour tried his best but the movie still ends up extremely disappointing.
However, this is a movie for a specific type of audience and I can respect that. If you’re into Hellboy and the dark violence, action, gore and horror that it provides then you will enjoy this movie. I just would not recommend this movie to your average cinema goer or someone who enjoys movies that are a little more light-hearted.