"You will never realize how much you need Guillermo del Toro in your life until you see the reboot of “Hellboy.”"— Christy Lemire
Hellboy is a 2019 British-American supernatural superhero film based on the Dark Horse Comics character of the same name. Directed by Neil Marshall, the film stars David Harbour in the title role, alongside Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim, and Thomas Haden Church. It is a reboot of the Hellboy film series, and the third live-action film in the franchise.
While battling a trio of rampaging giants, the legendary half-demon Hellboy encounters Nimue the Blood Queen, an ancient resurrected sorceress who's out to avenge a past betrayal. Suddenly caught in a clash between the supernatural and the human, Hellboy soon becomes hell-bent on stopping Nimue without triggering the end of the world.
Why It Sucks
- This remake is completely inferior to what made the original films so great. It all feels different, as it unnecessarily made loads of changes up to the point where it doesn’t even feel like a Hellboy movie. It has absolutely no charm and no heart, and just does whatever it can to exist.
- This reboot wasn’t even supposed to exist in the first place, either. In fact, it was originally supposed to be Hellboy III, but unfortunately, Mike Mignola and Lawerence Gordon treated Guillermo Del Toro unfairly, by replacing him with an entirely new director. Outraged by all this, Del Toro left the production, followed suit by Ron Perlman, who refused to work on the film with said new director's involvement. And to put it off this way, this reboot was only made so the franchise wouldn't be considered "dead."
- The only thing this film wants to focus on is the R-rating, rather than its story, characters, and as said before, charm and heart. And because of that, it sometimes takes it way too seriously.
- It is over-reliant on graphic violence, even in the most unnecessary situations. And some of it is really disgusting, such as Grugach ripping a tounge out of a Catholic and eating it, Nimue having her body sewn back up and her moaning and screaming in agony, Hellboy becoming Anung Un Rama which spawns demons from Hell to mutilate innocent people, and the worst it gets is when Baba Yaga eats dead children and there’s even a scene where we get to see the children hanging.
- Another thing it’s really bad at is swearing. In fact, there is so much swearing in this film that it would be enough for a BTSW episode. Every time they drop "fuck" or "shit", they have to say it boldly just so they can tell the audience "Hey, we're R-rated! This isn't for those who are young!" There are 3 characters who are absolutely dreadful when it comes to swearing: Alice, Professor Bruttenholm, and especially Grugach.
- Not to mention, even the first line in the movie has an f-bomb in it.
- Ironically, it managed to get final trailer only to just say "Hellboy is rated R" and explains why it is.
- David Harbour was never a good Hellboy.
- Pretty much the only reason why he was chosen to play Hellboy was because Mike Mignola watched Stranger Things and that David actually had questions about Hellboy, and what better way to answer his questions than to cast him. Yes, they hired a man who had no idea what he was doing or even knew what Hellboy is, which is a huge "no-no" when it came to casting.
- Hellboy’s character development was also butchered because of this. In the originals, Hellboy was cocky, but had a heart, and was loyal to everyone one around him, but here, Hellboy is a massive bully, rudely insulting his own father for his secret, making fun of South Korean people by calling Ben Daimio "uglier than a monster", and even raids a club and murders innocent people, despite him saying that he’s on the good side in the originals.
- His makeup is hideous, ugly, disturbing, and creepy to look at due to him looking much older than him (weirdly, Ron Perlman is older than him yet looks younger than he does in the reboot), and even having long hair and a goatee. Not only that, but he looks more disturbing than pretty much any monster on here!
- David Harbour was literally too fat to even play as Hellboy, so to win the role, he did some exercise. So basically, not only did he just get casted automatically, but he wasn’t even ready for the role.
- Mediocre acting that is ruined by swearing, miscasts, and much more, mainly because because everyone tries too hard to sound like what you would see in the original films, but it doesn't work, especially when you have to hear Milla Jovovich’s overly dramatic acting as Nimue.
- Other than treating Del Toro unfairly and cancelling Hellboy III for this, Mike Mignola did nothing else to the reboot, which explains everything wrong with it.
- This film contains massive plot holes, including but not limited to:
- Hellboy fights a BPRD member who is a vampire, but why would the BPRD member be a wrestler? How did he even become a vampire, and plus, how did he even know Hellboy?
- How can just only one simple jaguar attack make Ben Daimio a were-jaguar?
- Grugach randomly gets bigger in the final fight between him and Hellboy, and to quote Alice, "How did he get so fucking big?"
- It ruined the origin. Rasputin dies by a burn, despite suffering worse in the original, and Professor Bruttenholm actually "originally" planned to kill Hellboy, but for some sudden change, he adopts him. Also, there is some unexplained Nazi hunter running around during the origin.
- This film steals a lot of elements from the GMW.
- Nimue's plague causes people to have locusts fly off of people's skin, which more looks like the dust coming off of people's bodies from GMW and GMW.
- Nimue is very similar to Malekith from Thor: The Dark World, as both of them are just the same villains who come from a different age to destroy the modern-day world. What's weird is that both of them also have the same flaws, such as being generic, dull, flat, and one-dimensional.
- Some of the posters recycle Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, too.
- Grugach getting more bigger and more powerful is basically just the same thing as Algrim The Kursed in Thor: The Dark World.
- Mediocre CGI and special effects that look like something straight out of the original 2004 film (due to its CGI not aging well). For instance, the blood splatting everywhere looks too thick and looks more like someone using ketchup for blood.
- The advertisements and marketing basically doomed the film already, which is probably why the film flopped.
- Many of the posters spoiled the presence of Anung Un Rama, something that is definitely not worthy to advertise, only to make the film seem "cool" with the biggest offender being the one with the tagline "Legendary AF", in which AF stands for "as fuck."
- David Harbour was basically why the marketing was ridiculous. He once told everyone that if he gained 666 thousand followers, he’d do a hell-infested wedding with his new wife. However, the final straw was when David told everyone "Hellboy can’t have sex because he’s a demon" out of absolutely nowhere. Not only that, but it leads to Liz's pregnancy in The Golden Army being a literal mystery, and even then, David has no right to say it, because Hellboy is not his character. Plus, the claim can lead the film being trashed by Social Justice Warriors all because of it.
- Very poor grasp of the source material:
- Ben Daimio was not a were-jaguar, but rather a beast only made out of flesh and bones.
- The film's major changes of the tone.
- Hellboy can literally roar like a lion as Anung Un Rama.
- Also, Hellboy’s favorite "hero" is Lobster Johnson.
- Hellboy and Professor Bruttenholm can't get along, despite being loyal to each other in the original film.
- Milla Jovovich refused to handle any criticism after the film bombed, as she blamed her critics for giving all her films negative reviews (which she is wrong, because most of them have actually been given mixed to positive reviews, especially Zoolander, a film she listed), and going as far as to call this film "good" and "an instant cult classic." She also stated three reasons which had absolutely nothing to do with the film (which were the actors, the director, and Mike Mignola, and that’s it).
- David Harbour wasn’t any better, as he basically slapped the fans in the face by telling them that due to there being too many complaints, that this film wasn’t going to work out, which is disguised as saying that this film isn’t for the fans.
- Lionsgate themselves couldn’t accept criticism, either, as they took down Angry Joe’s reaction video to the first trailer, a couple of days after the release, which outraged fans and caused them to call out the company for "bullying content creators." The video was eventually put back up.
- The soundtrack overuses heavy metal, which feels incredibly out of place in a Hellboy-based film, and some of these songs are absolutely dreadful, like "Mony Mony" by Billy Idol (of which was even used in the first trailer).
- This film also has a complete lack of knowledge, since it thinks that there is a different King Arthur and that Hellboy is literally the devil himself.
- Getting rid of Liz Sherman, alongside Abe Sapien (whom they only revealed later on at the end for sequel-baiting) was an absolutely stupid and pointless move, mainly because Alice and Ben are the same characters, but with minor differences.
- After Bruttenholm’s secret is revealed, Bruttenholm tries to sugarcoat the entire thing for absolutely no reason at all. It’s like he doesn’t know that his son knows his secret and tries to cover up the entire thing.
- Loads of filler, like Grugach as a baby, Baba Yaga eating with Hellboy, and much more.
- Possibly the most ridiculous death scene of the film is when Professor Bruttenholm dies by a poke. And the only way is that Nimue goes deep into her skin with her finger to do that. His death in the original movie is way more graphic and actually depressing, and said original movie is only PG-13 rated, which is no excuse for what happens here.
At release, Hellboy was critically panned by critics, audiences, and fans of the original, with a 17% critic score and 51% audience score, a 5.2 on IMDb, and a 31 on Metacritic. The responses the crew members only made the scores much worse, and the film didn’t even make its budget back, with only $44.6 million out of a 50 million budget. A sequel was actually planned, but was cancelled due to this, killing the franchise effectively.
- If you buy the movie for 4K, you can get a steelbook, along with a free copy of a comic book that the movie was based on.
- Ed Skrein, known for roles like Ajax in GMW was originally planned to star as Ben Daimio, but stepped down and was recast due to backlash over whitewashing.
- Brawlhalla made a DLC featuring Hellboy, Nimue, Ben Daimio, and Grugach to promote this movie.