Hellboy (2004)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment)
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Overall Rating 65%
Overall Rating
Ranked #431
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Connections: Hellboy

In the final days of World War II, the Nazis attempt to use black magic to aid their dying cause. The Allies raid the camp where the ceremony is taking place, but not before a demon - Hellboy - has already been conjured. Joining the Allied forces, Hellboy eventually grows to adulthood, serving the cause of good rather than evil. --TMDb
Review by Chad
Added: April 30, 2004
Back in the days of World War II, Adolf Hitler was working with Grigori Rasputin on bringing demons to earth so that the Nazi's would rule the world. It didn't quite work out as planned, as some soldiers intervened and shut down the portal that was being used to do such. However, one baby demon did make it through, that being Hellboy. Fast forward sixty years to modern times, and Hellboy has grown to the ripe old age of twenty something, as he doesn't age like normal humans. He's working for the government, in the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense, and basically, his job is to take care of any monsters or demons that harass civilians around the world. One particular demon pops into the storyline and Hellboy disposes of him, only to find that it's laying eggs that will bring more and more demons into the world. He must track down and destroy the eggs, the monsters that have already hatched, and figure out where all this came from.

The first thing that really irked the shit out of me about this movie, was the fact that the final scene was given away in the trailers. Seeing the final sequence play out and knowing what's about to happen because you've seen the commercial half a hundred times really isn't very cool. The whole mood is lost when there's a decently lengthy discussion going on, and you just know that at any second, that scene from the trailer is going to play out. Sadly, this is becoming a trend in Hollywood lately, and I don't much care for it.

Other than that, this movie was quite entertaining. I've never read the comics, so I couldn't tell you how good the adaptation was, but I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this flick. Ron Pearlman does great in his role as Hellboy, he definitely gave the character some nice personality. Doug Jones as Abe Sapian is also pretty decent, though understandably underused in the movie. I wasn't too keen on Selma Blair as Liz Sherman, because she seems too ordinary and plain-jane in her role; almost as though any actress in Hollywood could have done an equal job in the role. That character should have had a bit more of a personality, I'd think.

The effects used throughout were great, that's definitely a thumbs up here. Abe, the fishman, is excellently done and looks just like you'd imagine a fishman to look. The fire that Selma puts out through her body is also nicely done, though I don't quite understand why it doesn't burn her clothes off (in storyline terms). Movie magic, I suppose. The monsters were also great, nice work with the CGI there; however, there could have been a bit of variety in the movie, even a nice opening sequence with some other type of monster just to get things going. Seeing Hellboy fight one after the other (after the other) of the same creature just got a bit old, though thankfully, there was a lot of focus on other things throughout.

Hellboy himself also looked quite excellent. As I said, I've never read the comic, though I have seen them lying about at my local comic shop, and he does look true to the covers that I saw. No drastic changes to his overall appearance that I could tell, which is always a good thing; Hollywood seems to have a knack for changing the general look of comic heroes in adaptations.

Overall, a nice, play-it-safe action flick, though once again, nothing hugely memorable. Worth a rental when it hits DVD. 6/10.
Crispy #1: Crispy - added 09/09/2004, 07:26 PM
Ok, so if you kill one of the demons, it becomes two demons. Not a bad idea, but can somebody explain to me how killing them all at the same time is final, as opposed to just doubling them as it should have logically done
BuryMeAlive #2: BuryMeAlive - added 05/16/2005, 06:46 PM
Cause you killed all the eggs in one time, see before it was two eggs became monster after the first monster died.
. #3: . - added 09/13/2005, 08:47 PM
Highly disappointing movie.
Strait Killa #4: Strait Killa - added 03/30/2006, 01:24 AM
couldn't stand it
bluemeanie #5: bluemeanie - added 05/03/2006, 02:00 AM
Not very good at all. Ron Perlman was great, but he is always great to me. I thought there were a few redeeming qualities, and it was better than most comic book adaptations, but run-of-the-mill doesn't cut it with me these days. 5/10.
Griffinheart #6: Griffinheart - added 09/05/2007, 11:39 PM
There's one scene in the sewers where the editors obviously mirrored the footage (for whatever reason, maybe to keep continuity of what sewer tunnel they came from...or something). Hellboy's Right Hand of Doom is on his left arm for a small scene.
Rik #7: Rik - added 07/03/2008, 11:53 AM
I can't believe this is the same guy who did Pan's Labyrinth.
Mr. Mistoffelees #8: Mr. Mistoffelees - added 07/13/2008, 11:28 PM
I thought this was pretty good. I had pretty good acting and some exciting action, and although I never read the comics, I thought it was a pretty good comic book adaptation. Better than Fantastic Four or Daredevil I assure you. 7/10.
MerrysMiko #9: MerrysMiko - added 07/30/2008, 10:37 PM
Del Toro has a history of using movies as proving grounds for future projects. Hellboy is no exception. In fact, the proving ground for Hellboy, if you look closely at the Sammael fight scenes, was Blade II (which was bloody godawful). The makeup/prosthetics workshop technology from Hellboy went on to make Pan's Labyrinth, which in turn was a proving ground for much of the "fairy folk" in Hellboy II: The Golden Army (which was FANTASTIC). Yes it was campy, yes the Sammys got repetitive, yes there could've been more character development. But yanno, that's what the sequel is for. Fabulous acting from Perlman ("From old Jew to young superhero! I love this job!"), some nice oneliners, and great on-screen chemistry from the cast. This is and will remain one of my favorite movies of all time. 9/10
Lucid Dreams #10: Lucid Dreams - added 02/23/2010, 02:51 PM
Not a fan of Selma Blair, but I liked this movie. 8/10
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