After some rather funny delays on my part, I was able to stumble into a viewing of the latest take on Hellboy. It was during an evening at prime time, and alongside the guest I brought there were two other people present. Things started out rather badly for this one, and that only continued to get worse over the course of the film. It can be rather funny, not in terms of bringing the laughs but just generally with the setup.
There was a very weak narrative here that was just all over the place. It felt as though the film was trying to be an origin story, while also taking place in an established universe. It tried to balance that with the focus of being a larger universe. They either setup, or finished off what felt like so many separate stories. It was ridiculous. The film carried a long run time, and it still felt like they were rushing. It was a constant stream of incoherent action that just kept getting pushed onto the screen.
I felt it might end at certain points and it kept going off in weird directions. There were so many characters presented here, so many strange scenes and they all felt different. There were some consistent theme in how this was presented or shot. Each scene felt like a different director had their hands on it.
The CGI wasn’t great at times, and it was weird seeing so many places being rushed through. There was a whole wizard subplot, a witch one and a number of other characters that might have explanations in films that could have went before this.
The flashbacks weren’t used well, most scenes felt like they were snipped down which was odd. This was just everywhere, and it’s hard to keep up with this horrible journey. I did feel that David Harbour did his best as Hellboy, there wasn’t much to work with. Those around him were not great, some the mystical creatures were fine. I also thought that Milla Jovovich’s Nimue was great for the material she had to deal with. She certainly went all in on this one and didn’t hold back.
Other aspects to talk about aside from the sprinting pace were elements of the gore. It felt like they were just attempting to make things more graphic for shock value. It was weird, there was this whole scene where people were getting torn apart viciously for no reason. For a long movie, it lingered for a strangely long time on seeing people with levels of virtual blood get splattered into pieces. It’s not all like there wasn’t something important going on at the same time. I didn’t mind it, but was just thought, ok while these scenes were happening.
Hellboy is purely an awful film with poor CGI, a sprinting action setup and just a horrible narrative. It’s hard to really pin point one area of this film that was particularly bad, because it was all horrible. Some of the action sequences could be fun, I thought the two noted leads were alright. They just didn’t have anything to work with, the other characters were underdeveloped and just awkward. So much of this movie carried into the realm of cringe and it just wasn’t very good.
It’s really long too, and it leans into that territory of so bad you’ll find it funny almost right at the start. I had a good time making fun of it while the movie was running, so there’s that. I felt that they could have done something better with the character. It didn’t need to be an origin, yet middle film launch pad for a universe that will certainly not happen. It was just a bad time for a character that I believe they’ll someday deliver on in terms of an on-screen appearance.
Hellboy Review at Theater with ROE Standard Viewing Screening Provided by VVS Films