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Movie Review: Hellboy (2019)

April 17, 2019


Graphic by Kaitlyn Biri

We live in the era of the comic book movie.

With the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it seems every comic book publisher and franchise wants a piece of the pie.

Hellboy is not a stranger to the big screen, though. Director Guillermo Del Toro adapted the comics into two relatively well-regarded films: Hellboy (2004) and Hellboy: The Golden Army (2008).

Del Toro was set to direct the third installment, but plans fell through when the studios would not allow him full creative control, even though he had such authority on the first two films.

With his departure from the franchise, Ron Pearlman, who played Hellboy in those films, left.

The only option the studio had was to make a full reboot of the franchise. The result was Hellboy (2019).

I was apprehensive, but excited, for the new Hellboy film. Though Del Toro and Pearlman were out, it had potential.

The first two Hellboy films are a guilty pleasure of mine. They perfectly capture the zany and campy action of the comics.

Comic book movies have taken a dark and serious tone since the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy. It is hard to find comic book films like Del Toro’s Hellboy films.

Sadly, Hellboy (2019) fails to capture the world and tone of the Del Toro films.

Though, that is not necessarily a bad thing. I am always up for a new take on a franchise I love.

The issue is that Hellboy (2019) fails at everything.

It is simply one of the worst films I have seen in my life. There is not a single good second in the entirety of this train wreck of a film.

The plot makes absolutely no sense. It somehow moves at the speed of light while feeling like it is at a dead stop.

I am wary of calling the characters in the film one dimensional because that would be too generous.

The film tries to pull a twist every few scenes, all while actually never focusing on the main plot line. There is also a fight scene every ten minutes, for some odd reason, most of which have zero impact on the plot.

It is a jumbled mess.

The editing is headache inducing.

There are whole sections of the movie that go by in a jump-cut heavy blur. The transitions never make sense, and the film feels like it was edited in a caffeine-fueled three hours.

The special effects have to be good though, right? It is a movie that almost totally has to rely on them, so those at least have to be decent.

Nope. There are games on the PlayStation 2 that have better-looking CG effects than Hellboy (2019).

On my ride home from my screening, I, in a panic, tried to think of a positive thing or two to say about the film. I could only find one一the end credits, which are only good because they signal the end of the torturous two hours of the film.

Hellboy (2019) is one of the worst films I have seen. I watch a lot of movies and have seen a lot of terrible affronts to the cinema.

It is rare that I get surprised by a film, good or bad. Hellboy (2019) surprised me.

It is one of the first times in my life that I cannot find a single decent thing to say about it. Do not watch this film; it will only rob you of two hours of your life.

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Movie Review: Hellboy (2019)