Hellboy is very clearly a comic book movie. It is also very much a Guillermo del Toro piece.
I’m not familiar with the Hellboy comics, so I feel a bit uncomfortable commenting on the story used in the film. For me, there was an interesting premise. I played the Wolfenstein games and always thought the stuff about Nazis being interested in mysticism and the supernatural was neat. It’s just such a bizarre image. This story in this film though, just jumps so much. You have Nazis, Rasputin (who I also find interesting) [1. Let me clarify: This are interesting topics, not people/groups I support.], a portal into another dimension, and weird monsters who are apparently from. We go from World War II to the modern-day. The FBI has a paranormal organization that I think is supposed to make you think of The Avengers, Justice League, X-Men, etc., but maybe not. In the end it is just a lot of randomness. It’s not bad randomness, but I just don’t feel that the film does a good job really linking it all. It is understandable that the movie is going to sacrifice in the story telling department. There is going to be a lot that’s missed since most comic book adaptations or adaptations in the sci-fi/fantasy realm seem to get shortlisted on that.
Part of what made me notice these holes I guess was that the movie is kind of slow. There really is not that much action. We are constantly introduced to new people who are new to each other. It makes it harder to connect. And these people are not going on fancy adventures, they are farting around quite a bit. Actually, scratch some of that. There are a fair number of action sequences, but they are not memorable. To me they were very easily thrown away.
I did like the visuals. Some parts were hokey, but the make and design overall were really interesting. I do like what del Toro generally does in that department. He has a weird style. It helps that this is not really CGI heavy.
For me Hellboy was just fairly flat. It is hard to translate source material like this into one film, so I understand some of that, but it doesn’t make the movie any better. If I were familiar with the comics I think I would probably have enjoyed it more. I still enjoyed Hellboy. I’ve seen it a couple of times, but it is not something though that I think most people would like.
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