Director Guillermo Del Toro (Blade II) certainly has a keen visual style. The combination of Del Toro's epic camera angles and the colorful,
sharp photography of long time collaborator and cinematographer, Guillermo Navarro, is truly a thing of beauty. It gives Hellboy a distinct
and impressive look.
However, that's just about the only thing unique in the film.
Ron Perlman plays Hellboy, a creature unleashed from Hell by the Nazis during World War II. After being found by the US Army, the story
shifts to present day where Hellboy fights monsters for the Bureau of Paranormal something or another.
In one of the first scenes, we see the head of the FBI dismiss a blurry picture of Hellboy as a hoax while on a talk show. However, in almost
all the action scenes that follow, Hellboy is fighting monsters in highly populated public places. So unless someone came in and erased
onlookers' memories ala Men In Black, there are hundreds of witnesses, and you figure one would get a decent picture.
And much of Hellboy is the same way. It just doesn't make much sense.
There is a scene where Hellboy raises the dead so as to guide him to a secret lair. Ummm... Hellboy can raise the dead now? Maybe it's
explained in the comic, but I was very confused.
In fact, the whole plot is kind of confusing, but hey, it's a comic book movie, all you really need is good action and sharp dialog. Hellboy has
The script has a few good moments between Hellboy and his would be girlfriend, Liz. However, most of the dialog is Hellboy muttering 'oh,
crap' while something big falls on him, or something big jumps on him, or something big drives at him.
The action scenes are also disappointing. The last fight against a giant snake/ squid monster from hell is a total disappointment. They aren't
bad, but they just don't thrill you in any way. And that is true of the entire movie. It looks great, has a few fun moments, and is never boring,
but for the most part Hellboy is a forgettable movie.
* * 1/2
(out of four)
Written and Directed by: Guillermo del Toro
Starring: Ron Perlman, John Hurt, Selma Blair, Rupert
Evans, Karel Roden, Jeffrey Tambor, Doug Jones
Cinematography by: Guillermo Navarro
Music by: Marco Beltrami
Released: April 2, 2004; 112 Minutes