Hellboy (2019) 🥵 Film Review


Written by Thelonia

About five minutes into the new Hellboy movie, I realized that this was in fact, not good. About an hour later, I was just praying for it to be over. Unfortunately, we still had another hour to go, all of it a painful and slow slog covered in guts and gore and absolutely nothing else of note.

Reactions when it was announced that there was gonna be a new Hellboy movie were mixed. On one hand, it wasn't the Guillermo Del Toro third film that was in development for ages, which was a disappointment. On the other, it was at least something, and the casting of Stranger Things standout David Harbour as the new Hellboy seemed like an inspiring choice. The first few behind the scenes pictures released weren't much to look at but you know, maybe the special effects weren't finished up yet.


Not only was the movie paced like someone took a standard paint by the numbers plot and randomly cut out five minute chunks like they were cutting up a paper snowflake, the effects (both practical and CGI, which seems like a failure on several levels) were deeply terrible. David Harbour's general design was very close to the comic design, but the makeup looked heavy and didn't hold up to movement, or close-ups. The inside of his mouth was occasionally visible on tight frames of his face, leading to a weird double mouth effect, and you could tell on long shots that his big hand was a bit too heavy, and usually just hung by his side unless they specifically needed to show it for something.

Special mention should also go out to Ian McShane, who is both the best actor present and responsible at least in part for one of the worst moments of the entire film: his (Spoilers, but also, do you care?) death scene is a complete blank for me, since I was so busy laughing at his stupid floaty ectoplasm body that I heard absolutely nothing of what he was saying. Emotional climax, it was not.

All in all, Hellboy only exists to remind us all how good the Del Toro run of the franchise was, even if this version should really have just aimed to be competent and called it a day. At the very least, it seems incredibly unlikely they'll follow through with a sequel given that it's still about $12 million dollars short of breaking even, even with the foreign market and even after being in theaters over a month. I'm pretty sure even a second of screen time for whatever they would have done to poor Abe Sapien, the sequel hook here, would have killed me instantly, so thanks for that.

They really should have just made it a video game and called it a day.

Hellboy (2019) is currently in theaters.

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