After Guillermo Del Toro made two great films with Ron Perlman as the beloved Hellboy, many fans have been wanting to see the third instalment in the series. Unfortunately, we have a reboot instead. Based on Mike Mignola’s graphic novel, Hellboy has always been a very interesting character with the universe he lives in. This time around, the movie is R-Rated and it stars Stranger Things’ David Harbour in the titular role. Directed by Neil Marshall, best known for making the horror flick The Descent, the reboot focuses on Hellboy returning to the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense as an agent in order to stop the evil Blood Queen named Nimue from destroying the world. He eventually teams up with Alice Monaghan (Sasha Lane) and Ben Daimio (Daniel Dae Kim), and they go on their adventure.
David Harbour is really good as Hellboy, and you can tell he’s trying his best to bring something fun and intriguing to his character. He’s arguably the best part of the entire movie, because he’s the only one you care about. Unfortunately, the other characters are pretty bland and forgettable. While some of them do serve some sort of purpose when they’re on screen, the script doesn’t give them a lot of development. Also, the villain Nimue is a clichéd antagonist you have seen many times before in other movies, and she’ll probably remind you of the stupid Enchantress from Suicide Squad. The biggest problem with Hellboy is that it’s very rushed and choppy. The editing is noticeably messy and it doesn’t really flow well with its narrative. Some of the characters’ flashbacks are uninspired and quick, which makes them kind of redundant. It seems like if you just cut them out, the movie’s pacing would be a lot better.
If you have seen the trailer, you know exactly what you’re getting into. It’s violent and filled with gory scenes. It’s actually fun to see Hellboy fight monsters with an R rating, and you see blood everywhere. If that bothers you, well, you’ve been warned. While it is entertaining to see this new cinematic take on the character, it is pretty grotesque at times. Some of the imagery shown in the movie is quite disgusting, and it really takes you out of it. Nothing wrong with showing some repulsively ugly things on screen, but it doesn’t change the fact that the design still needs to look good. If some of those aspects are like that in the graphic novel, it’s not always a good idea to stick to the source material.
While it is unfortunate that we will never get to see the third instalment of Del Tero’s series, this reboot isn’t a complete disaster. It is undeniably fun seeing these characters fight monsters with an R rating, but the gore and violence aren’t enough to make this a great film. Harbour really shines in a sloppy yet entertaining flick, and his performance is worth seeing for sure. Hellboy is not the worst movie out there, but it certainly deserves a much better adaptation.
Hellboy is now playing in theatres.