Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 400-Word Review: Hellboy

The cult comic character gets a reboot in this R-rated action flick.




Photo by Mark Rogers / Lionsgate
 

The rebooted “Hellboy,” taken from the capable hands of Guillermo del Toro, attempts to emulate both the stylized violence of “Sin City” and the gleeful madness of the “Kingsman” films.

It doesn’t succeed at either.

This version, now helmed by “The Descent” director Neil Marshall, certainly nails the vibrant and imaginative look of the comic books; it catches the eye with crisp, bright depictions of very bad things. Unfortunately, those images (and a strong lead performance) are all the new “Hellboy” has to offer. Beyond the surface, it’s a mess.

At least it’s (mostly) not an origin story. While we eventually hear a bit about the lineage of Hellboy (David Harbour), we are mostly here for his showdown with the “blood witch” Nimue (Milla Jovovich). During the dark ages, Nimue was dismembered and stored in a series of boxes by King Arthur, who couldn’t kill her but could make it very difficult for her to get much done. 1,500 years later, though, a determined beast named Gruagach (voice of Stephen Graham, body of Douglas Tait) is going to put the sorceress together again.

Hellboy, a detective with the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, is in mourning; his partner inadvertently became a vampire/luchador, and Hellboy accidentally killed him during a confrontation. His adoptive father (Ian McShane) sends him off to England for some giant hunting — conveniently enough, just in time for Nimue’s return.

There’s more; Hellboy has a plucky sidekick (Sasha Lane) and a wary partner (Daniel Dae Kim), several secret societies show up, the Arthurian legend is rewritten. It’s a lot. And the script, by Andrew Cosby (“2 Guns”), is ... bad. It’s just bad. It’s chaotic, juvenile, unstructured, clumsy and repetitive. What hope “Hellboy” might’ve had at riding the strength of its visuals is dashed by a screenplay which cannot get out of its own way.

Harbour does yeoman’s work in the role, ably filling the shoes of Ron Perlman (which is no easy task, to say the least). And if all you want is ugly creatures by the boatload, you’ll certainly get them.

“Hellboy” also offers a coda and two post-credits scenes, teasing further adventures with two chief characters from the comic books and establishing the villain for a second chapter. While I hate to disappoint the series’ fans, I might exit before them. After this installment, I doubt Hellboy is coming back anytime soon.

My Rating: 4/10

"Hellboy" opens today in wide release.
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Three Bridal Shops Team Up for One Major Sample Sale

Get ready for some serious bridal and occasion shopping at this one-of-a-kind sale in Sewickley.

Pittsburgh Hopes to Improve Parking Nightmare in the Strip

Finding a spot to park in the Strip District is always the worst, but the parking situation could improve thanks to insights from a local startup.

The 400-Word Review: Annabelle Comes Home

The latest chapter in the sprawling "Conjuring" series is a bit silly, but far more enjoyable than expected.

First-Of-Its-Kind Flower Truck Blooms in Pittsburgh

Customers are able to pick their own bouquet from the collection of fresh stems aboard Victoria Miess's mobile, mint green mini-truck.

All the County Fairs Happening This Summer in Western PA

Mark your calendars. There are 35 county fairs in western Pennsylvania this summer.

2019 Pittsburgh Area Fireworks: Where & When to Watch Them

This booming list of fireworks displays can help you get your fill of patriotism during the long holiday week.

What to Do with an Old Bank? Redecorate with Part of a Plane

The former PNC Bank in West View is now a community resource center with some very unique features.

The 400-Word Review: The Last Black Man in San Francisco

This arresting debut feature about displacement by the Bay is one of the year's best films.

Songs of Steel for a Summer in Pittsburgh

Love PGH Music Month has formed just in time for a summer filled with great shows.

You Could Be in a Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman Film

Want to be in a movie alongside some top celebrities? This is your chance!

Food, Beer and Games at the Crafty Jackalope

The popular Bridgeville bar serves its neighborhood well.

Can't Miss Concerts in Pittsburgh in July

This month's lineup includes Belle and Sebastian, Kurt Vile and actor-turned-rockstar Billy Bob Thornton and his band The Boxmasters.

Recommended Pittsburgh Eating: 3 Recent Dishes I Loved

PM dining critic Hal B. Klein is eating seasonal salads, sushi and sandwiches.

Transit May Improve Thanks to New Technology

Public transit users may luck out if Port Authority’s wristband ticketing service experiment goes well.

The 400-Word Review: Toy Story 4

Pixar's signature series comes up with an enjoyable fourth chapter. Just don't set your expectations too high.