Hellboy

Hellboy (2004) – [rate 2.0]

After watching Hellboy II on the big screen, I felt the need to rewatch Hellboy, since I’d missed the middle part the first time I watched it and never gave it a good look. One thing I immediately noticed is how much Hellboy and Hellboy II are the same. The story, the characters and even some of the visual jokes and action scenes are so much the same that, in retrospect, I should really lower the score (3.5) I gave Hellboy II.

The reason not to do so is that Hellboy II is effectively more like a decent remake of the not so great Hellboy. Although performed by the same actors and directed by the same director (and there’s many more similarities and overlap), Hellboy is slightly worse in every respect except originality. And even its originality leans heavily on what was already there in the comic series by Mike Mignola. If you’re only going to watch one of them, watch the second. If you’re watching Hellboy to find out why Liz is a firestarter, where they found Abe or whether there’s any other cool members in the BPRD, don’t bother, since hardly any information is offered that isn’t repeated in Hellboy II.

The only reason to want to see Hellboy – if you’re a fan – is to see Hellboy as a baby among the nazi’s that accidentally summon him into our world. Again, no explanation or background is offered, so you’re just doing it for the pretty pictures, but at least that’s a scene you won’t see in Hellboy II.

Another thing that doesn’t help Hellboy is that back in 2004, Guillermo del Toro hadn’t yet fully realized his strange fantastical style and as a result, the evil characters just don’t look as good. Although Hellboy certainly doesn’t look worse than most of the super hero fare that’s to be had, the characters remain underdeveloped and the plot isn’t worth mentioning and you end up watching pictures for two hours. I’m glad I missed this one in the cinemas, but if you’re a Hellboy fan it’s worth getting the DVD.

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Jaap van der Velde

I live and breathe software, love games and spent many a vacation touring Europe on my motorcycle. Currently diving, riding, hopefully flying and gaining perspective around Oz.

2 thoughts on “Hellboy”

  1. Hi Grismar !

    Well, it’s always the same problem with reviews to a film. It lies all in the preferences of the viewer. I like films like Hellboy. Pictures you have never seen bevor. Sure, just pictures, but nice ones :).
    It’s not always needed, that films have a good plot or a meaningful story. Sometimes you need only many bad guys and one or some good guys. Painted with some special effects or an extraordinary character.
    I don’t wanna say your opinion is wrong, i just added mine 🙂

    Btw. nice website.

    Fly Safe, Cokai aka Sandrine Starfire.

  2. I agree with you, my opinion is just that :). I guess it helps to know that I -really- like the Hellboy character in the comics and I felt he deserved a better movie. I feel the comic character has more depth and background that the movie shows, it degrades him to a 2-dimensional excuse for a fight. If a movie is going to be like that, I prefer Jean-Claude van Damme or Jackie Chan – no expectations, just action.

    Also, I think it really matters how you look at film to begin with and it doesn’t help that I tend to watch a LOT of them and take it a bit (too?) seriously.

    I like films like Hellboy in general though. Nothing against a little fantasy, action, etc. But I like to be able to believe in a movie and not be distracted by the fact that it is a movie. Suspense of disbelief is important and with a movie like Hellboy there were just too many things that got in the way.

    Thanks for the feedback though 🙂

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