Verdict: David Harbour is outstanding as the kickass demon from hell.
Directed by Neil Marshall, Hellboy is based on the acclaimed Dark Horse comics by Mike Mignola. This is the second adaptation after Guillermo Del Toro‘s two films and is rated A to provide a grittier version of Big Red.
What’s Hellboy About:
Hellboy (David Harbour), is a literal monster from hell who has been raised by Professor Broom (Ian McShane) ever since he came into this world. With Broom’s upbringing, Hellboy is one of the good guys working for BPRD, an organization that fights evil supernatural creatures. When a fifth-century sorceress named Nimue (Milla Jovovich) rises in England and wants to wipe out humans for what King Arthur did to her, Hellboy has to save the day. He teams up with Major Ben Damio (Daniel Dae Kim) and Alice Monaghan (Sasha Lane) to prevent the Apocalypse while dodging multiple attempts on his life and deciding where his loyalties lie.
David Harbour, known for his fantastic performance as Chief Hopper in Stranger Things, shows his acting skills are perfect for the big screen in Hellboy. Underneath layers of prosthetic makeup that makes Harbour hardly look human, he convincingly shows Hellboy’s emotions and internal conflicts. His character is a delight to watch on screen as he saunters from killing monster to monster, all while delivering witty quips.
Speaking of monsters, there are plenty of them and the film doesn’t shy away from showing their monstrous sides. These creatures wouldn’t be out of place in a horror movie. The gory action is done brilliantly as you see severed limbs, sprouts of blood, deformed hags, and even finger food (that’s actually made of fingers) as the film makes good use of its adult rating.
The performances by the other members of Hellboy’s squad are also quite good. Daniel Dae Kim plays the suspicious guy so well that you might even be convinced that Hellboy is not worth trusting. On the other hand, Sasha Lane, who plays a girl Hellboy had rescued from the faeries when she was little, brings out the protective side of Hellboy. Ian McShane also delivers a fine performance as Hellboy’s adoptive father who wants the best for his son, even though he shows it in a different way than what his son wants.
What Could’ve Been Better:
Hellboy features a lot of lore, which while providing some backstory for the characters, might not interest all kinds of audiences. The climax of the film isn’t particularly satisfying, but it does wrap up all loose ends while also providing a direction for a possible sequel.
Why You Should Watch:
This film is a great watch for those who want to see bloody action scenes that pack a punch. It has great special effects that make the monsters much more terrifying than you’d expect. Also, unlike the usual films where you know the hero is a good guy, here you’ll see a hero that might not be trustworthy, but is certainly a blast to watch on the big screen.