Going into Hellboy, I had very mixed feelings. When I saw the first couple of trailers, I didn’t even want to watch the movie. However, the last trailer provided some much-needed action shots that convinced me to go to the theaters to see the film. Turns out, that last trailer was all an illusion.
Throughout the entire film, Hellboy seems like a teenager throwing one giant temper tantrum, which I guess makes sense since the film is a movie that only a teenage boy would love. Hellboy has unnecessary gore pit against very little action scenes, very little emotional range, forced sarcastic humor, and spastic plots that resembles the mind of a very distracted teenager. There was too much going on all at once and it took away from some of the creatures’ amazing designs and the overall flow of the movie.
There was also no real struggle throughout the film. Although the story pit Hellboy’s good against his dark, evil side, it didn’t take very long for him to make up his mind. It also didn’t take very long for Hellboy to figure out what he needed to do to save the world or protect his friends. Because of this, the pace of the film was very skewed and included many side stories that were ultimately irrelevant.
The film did provide some great nods to the comics and incorporated many different storylines and characters. However, this came at the expense of the film’s overall story. There was too much going on and therefore no one had a complete character arc, some of the storylines were completely abandoned, and the audience didn’t have an emotional connection to anyone or anything.
The film’s ending was also absolutely horrible. It literally made no sense and all of the world’s struggles ended way too easily. It seemed as though the director ran out of coffee towards the end of the film or as if the beginning of the movie was produced by an entirely different person.
The negatives ultimately outweigh the positives, but if you’re ready to dive into the depths of hell, here’s my complete review of Hellboy (2019).
The story follows Hellboy as he battles his inner demons and tries to find his place in the world. As a demon fighting against other demons, Hellboy begins to contemplate his path and wonders what side of the war he should be fighting on. Meanwhile, Nimue the Blood Queen is attempting to bring an end to the world as we know it and is tempting Hellboy to join the fight as her King.
The film dove deep into the mythology and storylines from the comics, giving us the Blood Queen, Baba Yaga, Gruagach of Lough Leane, and Lady Hatton. However, because there were so many different characters with many different goals, developments, and plots, it made the entire movie very convoluted. There was too much going on at once and therefore many of the character’s stories and arcs were completely abandoned.
The pace of the movie was also entirely skewed. The movie was slow to start, with a bunch of different side stories and plots that were ultimately unnecessary for Hellboy’s development or the theme of the movie. Then, all of the action came at the end of the movie and culminated in a very lackluster ending. Despite being gory and violent at the beginning of the film, Hellboy’s ending provided a more emotional closure that didn’t even make any sense.
From Lady Hatton and Baba Yaga to Agent Ruiz and Ganeida, Hellboy was littered with characters that no one seemed to give a damn about. There were so many people and creatures jam-packed into a two-hour film that each character only got about 5 minutes of screen time and 0 seconds of a backstory. You knew nothing about each of these characters and the director apparently didn’t even care. Some of the characters were introduced with many ideas for vengeance or a mission that they wanted to complete but were ultimately abandoned by the end of the film.
This also made it extremely hard to care for the development of any of these characters or their ultimate demise. Whenever we saw someone violently murdered, we simply did not care. Sometimes we didn’t even know or remember what their name was.
Hellboy also had very little character development. His inner struggle obviously involved his decision to either embrace the demon inside of him or to stay on the side of mankind. However, this inner struggle didn’t last very long and ultimately ended with his father simply telling him what to do.
During the trailer, we see some amazing demonized creatures crawling from the trenches of hell. They’re all very Pan’s Labyrinth-esque and provide a hint of Guillermo del Toro’s original Hellboy touch. However, they don’t appear in the film for very long.
These creatures were only in the movie for about two minutes. This came as a huge disappointment because they were beautifully designed to be the creatures of our deepest, darkest nightmares.
Since they were only in the film for two minutes, they also seemed to be an inconvenience rather than an example of amazing cinematography. They had absolutely no reason for being in the film and joined the cast of no-name, irrelevant characters.
Despite what you saw in the trailer, there actually wasn’t much action in the film. In the beginning, we see Hellboy go on some random side quests that had nothing to do with the film, but were obviously added just to bring in some sweet fight scenes. However, after those quests were done, we saw very few action scenes. The rest of the film seemed to rely on some forced unemotional emotional scenes and a couple of non-hilarious sarcastic one-liners.
All in all, I would rate Hellboy a 4/10. Although the film integrated some amazing comic book elements and storylines, it was way too convoluted. The characters weren’t fully developed, the plot was all over the place, and there were too many side stories. The movie seems to have been created for teenagers simply looking for a gory and violent film without the distraction of a plot or story. For everyone else, this is definitely a movie you’ll want to wait to see on Netflix.