Hellboy (2019)

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Hellboy

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Doing what the first two movies did and failed is the equivalent of "Dante leaving a tenth circle out of his inferno".
Genre: Supernatural
Superhero
Directed By: Neil Marshall
Produced By: Lawrence Gordon
Lloyd Levin
Mike Richardson
Philip Westgren
Carl Hampe
Matt O'Toole
Les Weldon
Yariv Lerner
Written By: Andrew Cosby
Based On: Hellboy by Mike Mignola
Starring: David Harbour
Ian McShane
Sasha Lane
Daniel Dae Kim
Thomas Haden Church
Milla Jovovich
Photography: Color
Cinematography: Lorenzo Senatore
Distributed By: Lionsgate
Millennium Media
Release Date: April 9, 2019 (New York City)
April 12, 2019 (United States)
Runtime: 121 minutes
Country: United States
Budget: $50 million
Box Office: $55 million
Franchise: Hellboy


"You will never realize how much you need Guillermo del Toro in your life until you see the reboot of 'Hellboy'."
Christy Lemire

Hellboy (or fontized as 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.

Plot

Hellboy is back, and he's on fire. From the pages of Mike Mignola's seminal work, this action packed story sees the legendary half-demon superhero (David Harbour, "Stranger Things") called to the English countryside to battle a trio of rampaging giants. There he discovers The Blood Queen, Nimue (Milla Jovovich, Resident Evil series), a resurrected ancient sorceress thirsting to avenge a past betrayal. Suddenly caught in a clash between the supernatural and the human, Hellboy is now hell-bent on stopping Nimue without triggering the end of the world.

Why It's Awful AF As Hell

  1. It has absolutely no charm and no heart, and just does whatever it can to exist. At least the original two films, including the first installment and its sequel, tried to be memorable and had some charm, but the reboot is just another attempt of being edgy.
  2. It only exists just to keep the franchise running and alive. In fact, there was never going to be a reboot, but rather a sequel to Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Unfortunately, Mike Mignola and Lawerence Gordon treated director 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.
    • Aside from treating Del Toro unfairly and cancelling the third film for this, Mike Mignola also poorly treated Neil Marshall and fired his preferred cinematographer, making Mike himself the Butch Hartman of comic book movies.
  3. It is R-rated, therefore setting an unbalance between the first two films. In fact, it is the only thing this film wants to focus on, rather than its story, characters, and as said before, charm and heart. And because of that, it sometimes takes it way too seriously. Even more than this, the movie has way too much swearing. In fact, there is so much swearing in this film that it would be enough for a South Park episode or also put films like Uncut Gems and The Wolf of Wall Street to shame. 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 three characters who are absolutely dreadful when it comes to swearing: Alice, Professor Bruttenholm, and especially Gruagach.
    • Not only that, even the first line in the opening scene has an F-bomb in it.
    • Ironically, it managed to get the final trailer only to just say "Hellboy is rated R" and explains why it is.
  4. Mike Mignola only casted David Harbour as Hellboy for the reason that he watched Stranger Things. That being said, David himself clearly had no knowledge of the Hellboy franchise.
    • David appeared to be overweight to play Hellboy, so to win the role he did some exercise, but regardless, he is still very chubby-looking as Hellboy. Basically, not only did David Harbour just get casted automatically, but he was also unprepared for the role.
      • In this case, the posters of him muscled appeared to be "Photoshopped".
    • What pours salt on the wound is that the characterization of Hellboy was also butchered; in the originals, even though he was cocky, at least he had a heart and was loyal to everyone 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," even raiding a club and murdering innocent people, despite him saying that he is on the good side in the original films.
  5. Aside from the performance of David Harbour, the acting is subpar, especially Milla Jovovich's role as Nimue, where she sounds like a terrible cosplay of a villain.
  6. The film suffers from several plot holes and illogical scenes, including:
    • Somehow, just only one simple jaguar attack can make Ben Daimio a were-jaguar.
    • For some reason, Gruagach randomly gets bigger in his climactic fight with Hellboy. To quote Alice, "How did he get so fucking big?"
  7. It ruined the origin's source material. Rasputin, One of Hellboy's enemies, 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, some unexplained Nazi hunter running around is present during the origin.
  8. Much of the film is unoriginal, with specific elements being ripped from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
    • Nimue is very similar to Malekith from Thor: The Dark World, as both characters are antagonists who come from a different age to destroy the world. What's weird is that both of them also have the same flaws, notably being generic, dull, flat, and one-dimensional.
    • Some of the posters are basically carbon copies of the posters for Infinity War and Endgame, too.
  9. Mediocre visual effects which look like something straight out of the original film (as the computer-generated imagery also sucked). For instance, the blood splattering everywhere is too thick and looks more like ketchup.
  10. The advertisements and the marketing look abysmal, which 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 basically played a part in 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. The worst example of this was when David told everyone that Hellboy is unable to have sex because he is a demon out of absolutely nowhere; this leads to Liz's pregnancy in The Golden Army becoming a literal mystery, and even then, David has no right to say it, as Hellboy is not his character, neither did he play any part in his creation. The claim can also lead the film to get trashed by SJWs all because of it.
  11. Blatant product placement, such as Monster Energy drinks.
  12. Poor grasp of the source material and even the original film:
    • The film's major changes of the tone.
    • Hellboy can literally roar like a lion as Anung Un Rama.
    • His favorite "hero" is Lobster Johnson.
    • Hellboy and Professor Bruttenholm are unable to get along, despite being loyal to each other in the original film.
  13. Overuse of heavy metal pop-culture music, which feels incredibly out of place in a Hellboy film.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Bruttenholm tries to sugarcoat the fact that he tried to kill Hellboy after he found out.
  17. Several scenes serve no reason to exist other than to pad out the film's runtime, notably the scene of Gruagach as a baby, Baba Yaga and Hellboy eating, among others.
  18. Possibly the most ridiculous death scene of the film is when Professor Bruttenholm is killed by a poke when Nimue slashes his throat with her finger. In the original movie, he is killed after being impaled by a sword, which is far more graphic than that and also actually heart-shattering, and making it even worse is that the original movie is only PG-13 rated, which is no excuse for what happens here.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. David Harbour puts on a good performance as Hellboy.
  2. The designs of the monsters are terrific and exceptionally well-done.
  3. The visuals are quite nice to look at.
  4. The soundtrack can be funny to listen to by Benjamin Wallfisch, even for those who like rock and metal music.

Reception

Upon release, Hellboy received generally negative reviews from critics, audiences and fans of the original, with criticism aimed at the plot, tone, and gore, along with unfavorable comparisons to the del Toro films, but praise for the make-up effects, Benjamin Wallfisch's score and Harbour's performance. The film currently holds an 18% "rotten" critic score and 49% audience score with a critic consensus that reads, "Bereft of the imaginative flair that made earlier Hellboys so enjoyable, this soulless reboot suggests Dante may have left a tenth circle out of his Inferno." On IMDb, the film has a 5.2. and a 31 on Metacritic indicating generally unfavorable reviews. The responses to the criticism from the crew members, including David Harbour, Milla Jovovich and Lionsgate only made the scores even worse.

Awards and nominations

While the original won multiple positive awards and nominations including Best Make-Up, the reboot ended up grabbing 5 nominations in the 40th Golden Raspberry Awards, including Worst Reckless Disregard for Human Life and Public Property.

Box office

The film was unable to even make its budget back, with only $44.6 million out of a $50 million budget. A sequel was actually planned, but it was cancelled due to the film's failure which also lead to the studio effectively killing the franchise.

Trivia

  • 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 Deadpool 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 Gruagach to promote this movie.

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