REVIEW: Hellboy (2019)
Here’s my review for Hellboy which stars David Harbour, Ian McShane and Milla Jovovich. It’s now showing from Viva International Pictures.
Let it be known that I still love, to this day, the two Hellboy movies directed by Guillermo Del Toro. Its a classic and it has aged well. This new Hellboy movie directed by Neil Marshall, based on the work of Mike Mignola is a misunderstood creature that has negative critics (some valid, some just getting trashed because its no longer a Del Toro movie) but I kinda had fun.
Stranger Things’ Chief Hopper (Harbour) takes over as Hellboy from Ron Perlman while Ian McShane is Trevor Broom. Milla Jovovich is the Blood Queen, Nimue. Daniel Dae Kim is Ben Daimio and Sasha Lane is Alice Monaghan.
The books where this movie is based include Darkness Calls, The Wild Hunt, The Storm and the Fury.
Also you don’t need to read all the books mentioned above to enjoy this film. It would be a great watch thoigh if you watch the film and read the book.
It’s bloodier than the previous two movies. They really made good use of the R-13 rating. From visuals to language, its a more mature take on the character Hellboy as well as other supporting characters. I’m by the way talking about the movie and not just the character.
The language is also more foul-mouthed. The statesmanly Ian McShane is such a treat to hear cuss and drop F-bombs all throughout the movie. I don’t know why its up here with the good bits but yeah.
David Harbour had his fair share of great moments. Perlman’s Hellboy was an everyman who has grown comfortable with what he is and kinda knows what he can and can’t do. Harbour’s Hellboy is wet-around-the-ears and while he’s been around for a while, he shows his inexperience and stubborn-ness.
The movie breaks the fourth wall once or twice, and they even directly reference a sequel. Like really, they went in hard. It was funny for me, but it wasn’t for the other people.
There’s one post-credit scene for “Hellboy” and its one that Hellboy fans will really enjoy.
Have to give an “up” for the song choices and musical score. The previous movie went for sweeping melodies while this one went for heavy metal to mean guitar riffs. This went extremely well with the imagery. Like there’s this scene where we see Hellboy looking all destroyer-y and we get mean guitar music while we see him being a literal and figurative bad-ass.
The movie’s graphic scenes can go too dark. The screening I caught Hellboy with had people actually squirming at some scenes. Even with the R rating, be ready.
The movie tends to make too many “music video” moments all throughout the movie. It has gone through a number of times that it can be tiring. That worked good in Aquaman because they thought hard on how to do that. Here in “Hellboy”, that may not be the case.
The plot/ narrative can be confusing at times making it hard to catch up with whatever’s happening onscreen or it was poorly written. Look, I like that they adapted several tradepaperbacks for this film and “Hellboy” creator himself Mike Mignola was involved.
Most of the characters weren’t fleshed out properly, thus it made them 2 dimensional characters. Like Graugach could have been an interesting character but he’s never written to make him a sympathetic character and instead, he’s just the muscle for the story.
The same goes for Daimio and Alice. Could have been better, but the film’s released now. Maybe the DVD release could solve a few things here are there.
Have to admit, the CGI and visuals could have been worked a bit. This was were GDT’s directorial expertise showed brightest. Here for the 2019 reboot, we don’t get that. Sure, it was fun to see creatures roaming around and doing all sorts of gory things and yet, you’re not truly scared of them. Because a part of your brain isn’t convinced of the CGI work. In tagalog, it’s not “pulido”.
Oh my god plotholes and unresolved conflicts that never get tackled again. Why must you plague this adaptation with it.
Hellboy (2019) Review – Verdict
I’m mystified with all the lore that they placed in the film. I tip my hat to the creative and production team led by Neil Marshall (Game of Thrones) for trying to make certain scenes look as if they came from the book (i.e. that scene from “The Wild Hunt”) but alas people won’t see that.
Hellboy has its ups and downs. You want to enjoy it, lower your expectations and just enjoy the film with a big bag of popcorn and some drinks. For the hardcore readers and fans, its a personal taste so I can say the film could be hit or miss depending on watching.
Personally though, I liked this version. It won’t be as good as the two GDT Hellboy movies but its a good popcorn flick.
Special thanks to Viva International Pictures for the screening!