In the final days of World War II, the Nazis attempt to use black magic to aid their dying cause. The Allies raid the camp where the ceremony is taking place, but not before a demon—Hellboy—has already been conjured. Joining the Allied forces, Hellboy eventually grows to adulthood, serving the cause of good rather than evil.
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the audience applauded
Nice effects though.
The story, direction, characters, and writing/dialogue is akin to taking a tranquilizer shot to the neck, but everything else was so well done.
For plot. For performances - John Hurt as the great example. For cultural references. And for the action scenes, like for delicate love story. All - pieces of a splendid work who propose one of the most seductive roles of Ron Pearlman.
I'm a fan of Ron Pearlman and I really thought I would like Hellboy and I did like the character, however there felt like something missing. I really wish I could put my finger on it, but it wasn't at all what I expected. However it was entertaining and deserves at least a 6. Maybe a 6.5 if that was an option.
Hellboy's initial act sets you up for a wild ride, and promises much in its first half. The characters are interesting, the story has potential, and the concept of the film is engaging. Unfortunately, it loses its impetus more and more the further it goes, and while it remains visually interesting, it becomes hammy, lumbering and predictable. I think it suffers from the lack of a really fine villain. Kroenen simply isn't menacing enough - he is a curiosity, but his lack of humanity actually lets him down as an antagonistic presence, and his death is a bit underwhelming considering his previous resurrections. Rasputin is well played, but he is a little too much in the background. We know he's there, but the fact of that almost makes it uninteresting, since there is no relationship between him and Hellboy of Broom - things which might have been interesting to explore - and so he can almost be forgotten until his inevitable return. The Lovecraftian gods, similarly, are not given enough mythical weight to act as anything other than a vaguely unpleasant looking threat. You feel the man himself would have conveyed the horror far better. It is a shame - whilst Hellboy never gives any indication of being a masterpiece, it could have been a solidly enjoyable film, but the way the story wraps up feels somehow hurried, or, as it certainly doesn't feel too short, perhaps simply clumsy, as if the writers got tired of it. There are also a number of irritating loose ends. The action set pieces are pretty good, although nothing new really emerges as the film goes on, meaning that by the climax it has lost some of its edge. The film's best feature is certainly its lead, who looks, sounds, and absolutely acts the part, though all the performances - particularly John Hurt and Doug Jones - are excellent. It's a shame the story ultimately leaves them fighting a losing battle.
If ever there was a film that probably shouldn't work, it was one about a reformed demon, born during World War II and designed to help the Nazis take over the world, but now spends his time slaying monsters and saving the world instead. 'Hellboy' was a film made in 2004 and came just before the massive resurgence in comic book adaptations which, to this day, still dominates the Box Office with superhero movies. It's a strange kind of film that, although popular enough to generate (and equally good, in my opinion) sequel, it never got the third part to send off the character and give him the trilogy of films that us die-hard fans felt that he deserved. The reason I say it's 'strange' is because (like many, I guess) I never knew much about the film before watching it at the cinema. I didn't know it was based on a comic and merely saw the posters advertising the movie prior to its release. I knew that (the ever brilliant) Ron Perlman was in it and that was enough for me. The fact that much marketing material centred on a giant demon silhouette sporting a huge firearm was merely a bonus for an action/horror fan like myself. I watched it, really enjoyed it, and didn't think that much more of it. However, now I can see in these days of 'mega-franchises' why it didn't quite set the Box Office alight like it should. By its initial marketing, it looks like an outright horror film. However, it's actually a superhero film that borrows horror tropes, plus it was made before the superhero/MCU really took off. Nowadays, we're well used to rooting for our heroes after they've been granted some sort of special power enabling them to fight the forces of darkness, but most of them look like Chris Evans or Chris Hemsworth, rather than a giant, ugly, red, semi-horned monster. I guess what I'm saying is that 'Hellboy' was destined to have a real 'niche audience.'However, if what I've already said intrigues you, I do recommend giving it a watch. First of all, it stars Ron Perlman as the titular anti-hero. Now, he's normally good in whatever he's in, but it's fair to say that he carries this film completely on his broad (red) shoulders. The other cast members, including John Hurt and Selma Blair, are good too, but it's Ron's show (although I should probably give a nod to Jeffrey Tambor as the long-suffering head of Hellboy's secret Government unit).There's not an awful lot to say about the plot. If you've seen one superhero movie (regardless of when it was released) then you can probably predict what will happen - evil megalomaniac wants to take over the world, hero has to put the brakes on that one. However, Hellboy does it slightly differently simply because of its general 'horror' look and feel. But - don't worry - it's not all Gothic darkness - there's plenty of top-notch action scenes, cheeky one-liners from our cigar-chomping, cat-petting red hero and special effects that look more on the 'practical' side, rather than an excessive use of CGI. It's worth mentioning the effects because Hellboy's make-up is particularly simple, yet flawless in bringing the character to life. He's pretty scary at the best of times and the only things more ugly are the beasties he's sent to despatch before they destroy the world (that clockwork assassin-Nazi still gives me the creeps!).Even though I stand by my belief that 'Hellboy' stands up today as it did when it was released, I know there's a reboot in the pipeline. I'll watch that too, simply because I like the way the film is done. However, I have my doubts that anyone can fill Ron's big red boots and whatever we'll get next (instead of the much desired third part in this franchise) will be nothing more than a studio trying to cash in on the superhero craze and going for an easy cash-grab.