In the world of reboots and remakes, the new take on Hellboy manages to hit even lower lows than expected and that’s saying something considering that the expectations were not exactly high to begin with. Filmmaker Neil Marshall, who made noise with the 2006 horror opus The Descent, hasn’t really had a box office hit since that summertime sleeper made a splash well over a decade ago.
It’s safe to say that offers aren’t going to be piling up when word gets out on what’s become of the beloved character, courtesy of Mr. Mashall’s decision to take the reigns.
To say that Guillermo del Toro, the man behind the first two big screen attempts at bringing the Hellboy character to life, is sorely needed is an understatement.
The film’s plot, such as it is, demands a Herculean effort in its retelling in the space of this review. I’m not sure I’m up to the task but I’ll certainly try.
Hellboy (David Harbour), in case you don’t know, is a monster hunter by trade. In voice over we are brought up to speed on the saga of The Blood Queen witch, who’s also known as Vivian Nimue (Milla Jovovich). During the fifth century, the Blood Queen was dismembered by King Arthur, we learn from that opening narration. It wasn’t enough for her to just be dismembered. Her remains were also locked away in separate coffins so that her powers would be kept in check and she wouldn’t be able to rule the earth with her gang of monster goons.
Of course you know that something eventually will go awry and give Hellboy a run for his money, which it eventually does in an ample amount of screen time. Otherwise there wouldn’t be a plot.
You can feel the wheels grinding away as Marshall and writer Andrew Cosby attempt to do their best to up the outrageousness factor found in the subversive Deadpool adaptations. The Deadpool films, more or less, found a good balance of bawdy laughs and action but the new Hellboy adaptation just feels so calculated in its attempts to shock that it just collapses under its own weight.
There are also subplots and flashbacks to spare, but the frenetic editing and frenzied pace combine to undo any positive momentum the film may have had had going for it.
To put it bluntly, this is simply mess that leaves one to wonder what they were thinking to release a product as lackluster as this. Now that’s a mystery that might be worth investigating should Hellboy be up to the task.
Hellboy is playing everywhere in this area.
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