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Plot: A demon, raised from infancy after being conjured by and rescued from the Nazis, grows up to become a defender against the forces of darkness. Runtime: 122 min Release Date: 02 Apr 2004
One of the best comic book films (by BrandtSponseller)
Towards the end of World War II, the Nazis engage in efforts to win the war through means of invoking the paranormal. They attempt to open a "portal" for seven beings who are meant to invoke the apocalypse on Earth, but a U.S. Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense is on hand to stop them before they get too far. They do not stop them as quickly as they'd like, however, and the U.S. troops soon discover that a bizarre infant, part devil, part man, red, with horns and the demonic works, with a large right hand made of indestructible stone, has gotten through. They acquire the <more>
infant, we go forward in time to the late 20th Century, and most of the film concerns an adult Hellboy still working in conjunction with the U.S. government to help battle monsters and the paranormal.Hellboy was a 10 out of 10 for me, but there are a number of criteria for any viewer to have such a high opinion of it. One, even though director Guillermo del Toro is a big fan of the Hellboy comic books and many comments have been made by him, comic creator Mike Mignola and others that the film is faithful to the books, they've also said they've changed it to suit the context of the film, so you have to not be a purist about source material to screen translations or current screen instantiations . Two, you have to have a taste for fantasy where the creators are not very concerned with making the material coherent with or plausible in the actual world. Three, you have to enjoy your fantasy both very dark on the horror side and humorous/sarcastic at the same time. Four, you have to like an epic, sprawling feel to your fantasy. And Five, you have to not hate cgi creatures. I meet all of those criteria. How many you meet will likely determine how well you'll like Hellboy.What worked best for me was the material that showed Hellboy, portrayed exquisitely by Ron Perlman, as just a regular guy cum sassy detective. Even though he's half demon, a large part of the comics, at least--and this is hinted at in the film, particularly in the climax--is a continual nature versus nurture "debate". He was raised by humans who were as normal as they could be, being government agents in a bureau dedicated to the paranormal. So he has a large number of human-like quirks, including a love of old music, beer, cats, pancakes, chili, and so on. He's also a cigar-smoking, smart-assed detective. Hellboy is at its best when it focuses on these characteristics.But everything else works well, too. Hellboy has a monster-like counterpart, Abe Sapien Doug Jones , and a "freak" love interest, Liz Sherman Selma Blair , who are almost as fascinating as he is. The villain and neutral creatures such as the "half-creature" with a speaking role towards the end are just as captivating. There are also other characters providing enjoyable comic relief, most notably Tom Manning Jeffrey Tambor . His adopted father, Professor Trevor "Broom" Bruttenholm John Hurt is intriguing. And newly recruited "caretaker" John Myers Rupert Evans shows promise, even if we do not get to spend much time with him here. Like many films of this type, I'd love to see all of these characters further explored in prequels, sequels and spinoffs. That's a good sign, because it shows that del Toro and fellow writers Mignola and Peter Briggs have successfully conveyed a world with "deep" characters who have extensive histories.Also worth noting is the cinematography/lighting/production and set design, which is consistently beautiful, and ranges from the popular recent trend of more monochromatic textures blue is the color of choice here , to the strong chiaroscuro of the comic books, to striking contrasts, such as a mostly monochromatic scene which is suddenly penetrated by a supersaturated red stream of blood. The sets are all engaging, from exteriors one hilariously claimed to be in Newark, New Jersey to interiors, urban to expansive countryside and even outer space environments.As for effects, which are a large part of the film, I can't for the life of me imagine someone claiming that cgi looks "fake" compared to mechanicals, practicals, stop motion ala Harryhausen , and so on after they see this film. For my money, these are some of the most impressive cgi creations yet, including some great cgi fight scenes.Hellboy is captivating, suspenseful and humorous. It is well worth watching for anyone with a taste for fantasy.
Is being human what it means to be human? (by ragana)
Late in World War II the Nazis, in a desperate attempt to change the course of the war, conduct a ritual to bring forth a demon from hell that will bring about the end of the world and a new Eden. U.S. soldiers interrupt the ceremony and the demon is instead brought up by a professor of the paranormal as a monster fighter along with others of unique backgrounds and gifts . Sixty years later, those who birthed Hellboy are back for him and the end of the world.I loved this movie! Loved it! For anyone who is interested in history and cultural mythology and believes that movies, to some extent, <more>
are the telling of old tales in new ways and some will become tomorrow's myths , "Hellboy" will definitely keep that belief alive. Not to mention it's simply just one exciting damn fine fun kick butt movie! There is not a weak performance onscreen by actors or offscreen by crew in this film. You do not have to be a fan of the comic to enjoy this movie. It's fantastic storytelling mix of family devotion, burgeoning love, acceptance of personal power, overcoming prejudice, sacrifice, with action, comedy, horror, comic book stylized evil and one of the eeriest bad guys ever to weld a knife, as well as one of the most intense and well dressed villains to ever threaten the earth. Ron Perlman has the lead and, as in the past, gives the excellent magic of make up artist Rick Baker life. He takes what would be for most actors stifling full make up and a weighty cumbersome costume and gives the audience a being with the flesh of a demon, the voice of a dark angel, the attitude of a blue collar worker, the humor of a college student, the mind of a professor, the heart of a young man in love, and the soul of a human being. Favorite line: "There are things that go bump in the night Agent Myers, make no mistake about that, and we are the ones who bump back."Favorite line spoken by Ron Perlman a lot : "Awe, crap."Definitely worth a buy!
I don't read comic books and have never even seen a "Hellboy" comic and I loved this movie. I had no expectations of high art--I just wanted to be entertained, but I ended up being a little bit surprised at the better-than-usual-in-a-comic-movie acting and dialog.No one but Ron Perlman could ever play this role. It's not just his looks, but the way he can say the corniest dialog with utter sincerity and conviction. Selma Blair is also well-cast, with her perpetually depressed eyes and understated delivery.The monster fights are great at first, but once you've seen one, <more>
you don't need to see it three more times, especially with the same monster. The plot is pretty standard heroes n' villains stuff, with the twist being that the main hero is an apocolyptic demon from hell who loved kittens and eats stacks of pancakes that would gag Louie Anderson.Yes, it all sounds so corny, but I was drawn in because the actors and the script didn't take for granted that I was just another drooling fanboy. Guillermo Del Toro has made a great action movie, and I'm looking forward to the sequels.
I'm usually pretty skeptical about comic book to film translations thanks to such esteemed turkeys as "Captain America", "Daredevil", and "Punisher" the early 90's version with Dolph Lundgren . But this movie, which could've been bad.....real bad, somehow found a way to be ammusing and entertaining, while at the same time staying faithful to the comics original characters, storylines, and influences.Now this film's not gonna win any awards and isn't going to turn non-comic fans into hardcore comic maniacs but it is a great pre-summer <more>
action/adventure film with some comedy and a bit of the eccentric tossed in for good measure.I won't go into the usual routine and start giving away plot points and story snippits. All I will say is "Go see the movie". But before you do you must take all logic, all sarcasm and cyncism and toss those all out of the car window on the way to your local cinemas. This movie has alot of things that may contradict alot of things that most people believe in, but remember, ITS JUST A MOVIE. Thats what movies are for, they are meant to take the impossible and make it possible and so on. Like I said, this movies not going to be an award winner, and won't be on any critics ten best lists, but it will be a film that you'll laugh at, and generally have fun watching. Its a great escape from the surrealistic existence that many of us live every single day. So, take my advice, go see this movie, sit back, relax, and have some fun.
I must say I would have never expected in my wildest dreams to enjoy a film like this so much, much less this one. Hellboy has it's faults but it's truly comic book/horror/fantasy hybrid masterpiece. It is the probably the best comic book movie I've ever seen. Based on a little known comic book I'm sure people will be running to buy now. Hellboy is the story of a group of bad guys whom are trying to destroy the world and end up bringing forth a small child like hellboy. After years of being raised by his founder he becomes a superhero monster fighting bad guys like himself and <more>
bringing them to justice while defending humanity. He's helped along in his quest by pyro girl Liz Sherman played beautifully by Selma Blair. And a very cool intellectual fish Looking guy referred to as Blue. But those people are back to destroy the world again as they have ressurected their master and it's up to Hellboy and his gang of misfits to protect humanity and foil their plan. I'm sure it sounds surely predicatble but that something this film lacks in troves. It's completely original, completely new and just great. The performances by Ron Pearlman, John Hurt and Selma Blair are completely involving. The story is well developed, emotional, scary and funny. The direction is taut and well developed. Definatly Del Toro's reigning masterpiece. I must say I was overly impressed by this film probably because I wasn't expecting too much but I can guarantee you one thing I will be going to see it again. Hellboy is amazing!
A highly over-looked movie that surpasses Van Helsing (by Ithorianjedimaster2)
Someone told me a long time ago that "Van Helsing" and "Hellboy" were in the same level of quality, saying they "both sucked". Well, that's a filthy lie. What you have here is a movie based on a popular comic book of the same name that does EVERYTHING that it seems "Van Helsing" slipped on. Don't get me wrong; I liked "Van Helsing", but let's face it, it wasn't the best movie ever and it lacked a lot of character development and an ending that was a bit of a cliffhanger because you never find out what Van Helsing's past <more>
is , but "Hellboy" is another story.The movie starts off during the end of WWII. It appears that Nazis have been meddling in something that Paranormal Specialist Dr. Broom doesn't like too much, dark magic. With the help of the notorious Resputin, along with some unnamed woman with a sledgehammer and, despite him being a Nazi, my favorite assassin, Alex Kronen, the blade-wielding gas-masked bad boy that you meet in the early part of the movie. In an attempt to awaken the seven gods of chaos, Resputin's plan is foiled by American soldiers, who are aided by Dr. Broom. After a cool looking gun fight, the portal that was built to reach the seven gods is destroyed, along with Resputin. However, the portal was open for too long and Dr. Broom warns the American general "something may have gotten out." Which leads to the discovery of a certain red 'ape' with the world's largest whammer for you sick-minds out there, I mean he has a large fist made of stone and is quickly adopted by the Americans, after given the name Hellboy.Then the movie sets off, and that is when more of the fun begins. Hellboy, now about 60, but looks just out of his 20's since he doesn't age as fast as we do is the monster-hunting character that Stephen Summers wanted Van Helsing to be. Hellboy is a lord of wisecracking and doesn't really take things seriously, and he also has the coolest gun in the world, the Simaritan, a revolver that shoots "big bullets".The acting in the movie is very well done. Hellboy's character is realistic and believable, since you can't help but love his sarcasm, such as discovering a egg-like parasite on his arm and when Agent Myers asks "What is that thing?", Hellboy puts the parasite in his lap and replies "I'll go ask." Then there's the smart guy that makes up for whatever Hellboy lacks in intelligence and knowledge, the "fish guy" Abe Sapien, who, by touching any object, can see its past and future. Finally, you have Hellboy's ex-girlfriend and still-love-interest, Liz, who is a pyrokinesis who is trying hard to control her fiery powers, and is scarred from a childhood memory of when she killed many people in one of her "outbursts", which means her fire lets off a big explosion, killing everyone and everything around her at quite a distance, without harming her.The villains are also very convincing and though there is some acting quality lacking in Sledgehammer Girl I didn't catch her name , she has little lines and doesn't have much screen time, unlike the very creepy and just-as-deadly Alex Kronen who has been made into something of an immortal, due to his surgical addiction he's like a killing, cool version of Michael Jackson, except Jackson's blood isn't dust and can't increase his adrenaline by cranking a dial on his chest .The action scenes are also very fun to watch, and never go out of quality like "Van Helsing" sometimes did. This is done by not a lot of shooting or explosions or people running in circles screaming like in "Van Helsing", but is done by clever dialogue, Hellboy's constant wisecracking, and some awesome special effects . . . along with a lot of shooting."Hellboy" is a highly over-looked and sometimes, under-rated movie that makes us remember how "Van Helsing" lacked in character development and high-quality action scenes. While "Van Helsing" has its big mean monsters, which outnumber the amount of monsters in "Hellboy","Hellboy" gives us the experience Stephen Summers wanted "Van Helsing" to provide, along with some extra wisecracking and a little more attitude. "Hellboy" is a must-buy for fans of the comic or just about anyone who likes special effects and clever script-writing.
B+ Good script, well-paced, overall very entertaining. (by yak-yak)
Hellboy is a well-balanced and very well-paced movie that avoids tiresome action movie content mostly .Script: Very efficient. The snappy-attitude lines are allowable because of Hellboy's partially juvenile personality.Acting: I credit Pearlman for presenting a complete character without being gabby and coy. Well-done. Almost all of the other significant characters are equally well-presented by their respective actors, save for one. del Toro certainly dropped the ball in writing/directing that character though I won't mention who so as not to give anything away . He messed up only <more>
one character, and I forgive him. Nobody's perfect.Casting: Appropriate.Pace/balance: The movie reminded me of X2 in this respect. It moved well, didn't get stalled anywhere, and both the action and drama were moderated with smooth transitions between each.For comparison, Spiderman was good but overacted, X2 was good but with a few eye-rolling moments.Overall, I found this movie provided high entertainment value. B+
Great entertainment delivered in a visually stylish package (by ametaphysicalshark)
Guillermo Del Toro's "Hellboy" is really the sort of comic book adaptation that should be commonplace- a film that feels every bit like a comic book in its energy, style, and visual feel, but is entirely worthy on a cinematic level as well.Sadly, "Hellboy" doesn't really have much of a plot, at least for half of its running time. Its first hour is Hellboy fighting squids and the mandatory character introductions, and its second hour feels pretty rushed as a result, having to introduce and resolve the bulk of the film's story. Thankfully, however, <more>
"Hellboy" avoids the comic book-to-film cliché of basing the first film of any given franchise on the 'superhero origin story' not that Hellboy is much of a superhero, he's really just a smartass with a gun, except he's from hell , instead keeping all that to a short and dazzling pre-credits sequence. Other than the somewhat rushed and oddly-placed plot aspects, Del Toro's screenplay is fairly impressive, providing plenty of nods towards the comics and a good amount of wit and humor, also echoing the nature of Mike Mignola's work.The most impressive aspects of "Hellboy" are Del Toro's direction and Guillermo Navarro's photography. Del Toro was always a superb director in terms of visuals, although I've had issues with several of his scripts. His most accomplished film to date in this regard would probably be the superb "The Devil's Backbone", but "Hellboy" shows that he has a surprising knack for directing action in a fluid manner without resorting to the cheap method of quick cutting. Also notable in terms of Del Toro's work here is how he subtly manages to pay homage to the memorable artwork of the comics, for example the overhead shots of Hellboy.The CGI effects are quite good considering the film's relatively modest budget, and thankfully they don't form the basis for much of this film. The cast are all solid if not fantastic, although Ron Perlman is probably the best actor I can think of to play Hellboy. The final shot is beautiful and perfectly in keeping with the pulp poetry of not only this film but also the comics it is based on. 8/10
Guillermo Del-Toro's exciting, fun tribute to the flamboyantly cool powers of comic books (by Quinoa1984)
Hellboy is self-conscious, perhaps, but in the best ways possible. Actually, it's more due to writer/director Toro being very aware of what makes up the conventional bits to every sense character-wise to the world of a comic-book, but also what can be entertaining as well, than it is just to having it being a Hellboy movie where the comic-book Hellboy already exists IN this world guy sees the Hellboy comic, looks up, it's Hellboy! . We get the tough-as-nails, dryly witty, and possibly ticking-time-bomb hero in Hellboy, a deadly serious villain in Rasputin yes, Rasputin, with a <more>
blonde Nazi as his evil side-kick no less , the young apprentice to the hero Ruper Evans as John Meyers , the hero's love interest Liz Sherman played by Selma Blair , the father figure John Hurt's Professor , and the reluctant 'boss' Jeffrey Tambor , not to mention the plucky side mutant in Abraham Doug Jones AND a magnificent creature in that hard-ass slug. They're all there, bright as day or dark, depending on point of view , and it all works wonderfully due to Toro running with it all head on. It's not done in a way that's meant to pander to the audience, either, but just to have fun with the conventions, to see what makes them all crackle and pop under big-time special effects. It's not quite a guilty pleasure because Toro is also a smart craftsman.And craftsman just as much as director, he crafts this world where the creatures which were and still are Toro's forte are fierce and radically charged, whether they're crucial to the picture like Rasputin's rabid, rapidly hatching slug-monsters that can only be killed one or two ways, or if it's just a minor creature like the zombie Russian corpse that leads a little of the way when Hellboy and his crew are in the main hideout of the villains "I was better off dead!" . Toro is sensitive to the characters alongside this, and makes them all pretty believable- and I say pretty cause it's all a little simple, yet effective, in the main thrust of Hellboy's emotional core being about Liz and if she may or may not go for John over him- and doesn't dumb it down too much or contrive the relationships for the audience. It's a good balance, because there is A LOT of action in Hellboy, in fact probably at least a 60% allotment to either Hellboy fighting the monsters after him usually in the subway, or in the Russian castle , or with the possibly un-dead assassin in the mask and leather who marks as one of the fiercest forces in comic book movies.So, fan-boys rejoice, because Hellboy should, and hopefully will, have everything one looks for in a brawny, high-octane entertainment where humor isn't confused with cheesiness Perlman is too well focused as a possible anti-hero to get into any of that, as he makes that hugely built red lug a very real being , and the action isn't over-done with a tongue-in-cheek. Not that Toro doesn't flirt with having goofy things in his picture, like a moment where Hellboy has to save a box of kittens from the grasp of the slug-monster. But they're earned moments among a very tightly constructed story where human evils in history and the bizarre in what is in the facts Hitler into the occult, Rasputin's very long death into a comfortably understood framework of comic-book clichés that never get too old when done right. Bottom line, can't wait for number 2!