Hellboy [2019]

I say this every time, but there may be spoilers, heck there’s post-film spoilers in the trailer alone.

Speaking of:

Right, it seems I am falling into a routine, give a synopsis, then try to discuss the technical aspects of the film, the plotline and the acting, so lets keep that going.

Hellboy’s plot starts with the Blood Queen being betrayed by Arthur, that Arthur, King of the Britains (well I didn’t vote for him), being chopped into pieces, the pieces scattered and then hundreds of years later, Hellboy has to stop them being joined together.

There’s the typical “Hellboy is going to bring the end of the world” prophecy part, and that includes a secret society that invites Hellboy over to England to help take care of 3 recently awakened Giants, only to use it as a lure to get Hellboy into a trap to try and kill Hellboy to save the world.

Of course it doesn’t work.

In fact none of it works, the Blood Queen is rebuilt, she unleashes a plague (apparently, looked more like a swarm of insects, so maybe we’re talking more biblical plague than illness?) and even gets Hellboy to pick up his sword of fire.

 

Right, technical side of things:

The film has some great practical effects, I might even go so far as to say that they are grotesque, but what really falls apart is the use of CGI, I’m sure everyone is saying this but when the film resorts to using CGI it looks on parr with older videogames, so rather than adding anything to the film it generally detracts from the excellent use of practical effects, and speaking of practical effects, Hellboy himself looks excellent, I would have to say that if I had to pick visually, I’d take David Harbour’s Hellboy over Ron Perlman.

 

Plot, the next thing in our list:

The plotline didn’t feel as convoluted to me as it did to others, but it could certainly have been polished a lot more than what we had.

Characters were thrown in and out a little quickly, the film often seems to be rushing towards the next scene.

But what I view as the most egregious of errors, is in the scene where the British are hunting Giants and use it as a trap to try and kill Hellboy, they have 3 Giants to fight and instead they focus on killing Hellboy.

It would make much more sense if they used the Giants to weaken Hellboy, and then used that as the moment of betrayel, instead we have this scene where a group of armed men easily take Hellboy down and almost kill him, then the Giants kill these armed men, and then a weakened Hellboy kills the Giants, as a progression it doesn’t make sense, we don’t get Hellboy digging deep and overcoming, he’s just suddenly up to enough strength to take on 3 Giants who killed experienced Giant Hunters who literally just took him down, it makes little sense.

Other than that, we also have a shot towards the end, after literal monsters are roaming the streets of London, the ground opens up and something demonic crawls out and attacks a businessman seemingly walking past on his way to (or from) the office, watching that moment it felt out of place that during such an event, someone is just going to be walking around nonchalantly, I can’t tell if it was meant to be a moment to make you chuckle, or sit aghast, but it fell short on all points.

 

Acting:
Nobody does badly here, though the casting choices feel odd, Harbour does look good as Hellboy but after Perlman his voice just seemed to lack gravitas, Ian McShane didn’t really seem to fit the role of Professor Broom, and Milla Jovovich never really felt like a threat.

Apparently there was a lot of on set disagreements in direction, so I guess we can assume that having a great set of actors fall flat and seem out of place, must have some cause in the disputes while filming.

 

Final thoughts:

If we’re honest, the Ron Perlman era of Hellboy sets a high standard, with it’s over the top action, it’s humour, even the special effects, so it doesn’t surprise me that the 2019 reboot falls flat, but I’ve got to say it was better than I expected, the thing I suspect that lead to the films downfall is that everyone who loved the older films was very vocal about not liking the direction 2019 was taking, so I think the studio interfered, I feel like maybe that’s why the tone of the film doesn’t ever really find its footing, why the CGI seemed to be done on the cheap, it became a self fulfilling prophecy, the studio doesn’t want to invest any more money in a flop, so they ensure the film will be substandard by not investing, so of course it flops.

Could I watch this again? Sure, not any time soon but it’s certainly above average, this one scores a 6 out of 10.

 

Oh and what I said way back in the beginning about spoilers? At 56 seconds into the trailer, we see Hellboy and team in a purple room filled with pipes, right? That’s taken from one of the “endings” of the film, that attempt to sequel bait.

This is just unreal to me, trailers already spoil a films content and not they’re spoiling the “post credit content” (well, I know this isn’t all post credit, but my point stands), in this instance they used it as it’s pretty much the best example of a kickass team shot in the film, but that’s really miss-selling the film.

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