Hellboy should've remained in the fiery inferno of the underworld. Critics banished it, audiences failed to connect with it and production was apparently a nightmare. Some may say this unnecessary reboot was doomed from the start. But you know what? I went in with an open mind. I wanted everyone to be wrong. The feeling of being proved totally incorrect is an overwhelming sensation. Yet, unfortunately, this film is a bloody travesty. Shambolic as soon as McShane started slurring his narration as if he was inebriated. I shall endeavour to find some positives however. Just bare with me. The blood queen has been dismembered to which a hog-like fairy scours England finding the boxes to which her limbs are stored in. It's up to Hellboy to stop this from happening whilst also not touching Excalibur and something to do with a wild hunt.
To put it simply, a catastrophic mess. I mean, where to even begin with this? I suppose the main culprit is the script, considering it acts as he nervous system for the film's entirety. Cosby's screenplay draws inspiration from various comics that Hellboy originated from, yet presents them as nods for fanboys as opposed to integrating them into a cohesive story. 'Hellboy in Mexico' lasts for about two minutes whereas 'The Wild Hunt' never seems to end. All of these sub-plots acting as distractions from the primary storyline which, firstly acts as uninspired fan service, and secondly loses all focus from the "my name is Queen Nimue, and I worked for the underworld" (subtle Jovovich reference...) central plot. It's acceptable to appeal to hardcore fans of a source material, but without any integral structure or engaging dialogue it will lose its accessibility, consequently attracting no one.
Speaking of dialogue, some of those lines were like having a stake to the heart. "Google translate that for me". Oh hunny, no one says that and no one has ever said that. Zero jokes/quips landed. A big fat zero. And apparently everyone in England shouts expletives in every frickin' sentence. I don't know what they frickin' mean, we don't frickin' swear constantly...! Frick! Characters, like Lobster Johnson, jump into the story for one second (with no introduction) and then never mentioned again. Even going as far as recreating Hellboy's origin story to which we saw in Del Toro's superior adaptation. Unfavourably comparing adaptations is something I try to avoid, especially when neither are masterpieces. But damn, watching this makes Del Toro's seem like the 'Citizen Kane' of Hellboy films. Atleast he understood the characters and the intricate relationships between them all.
Marshall went for spectacle and unsurprisingly backfired big time. The visual effects were not up to standard, despite some excessive gore which did grant a minuscule amount of charm. The soundtrack was obnoxious. And the editing was haphazard, especially during the Baba Yaga fight sequence. Wait, who or what even is she!?
Surely the acting can save this disastrous flick? Ehh. Wrong again. Harbour has good intentions, but is directed poorly by Marshall. His physical prowess suits the character of Hellboy perfectly, but when he acts as a juvenile teenager (just so that he differs from Perlman's interpretation) and literally shouts every word, he loses the essence of the titular character. Absent of any emotion, this film takes a major step back for the hero, yet Harbour isn't the worst actor. Jovovich, my sweet sweet Milla, is given nothing and instantly becomes a forgettable villain. Dae Kim was putting on a British accent I think? I don't even think he knows. But the worst performance has to go to Monaghan who was insufferably irritating. Just get rid of her. I will however appreciate Big Mo from 'Eastenders' and the chip shop "Codswallop". But that's it. That's where I draw the line for positives.
Oh, and bring a notepad. Because the amount of exposition and heavy-handed storytelling is ludicrous. In fact, practically every line is used to further plot and not the characters. An R-rated Hellboy reboot sounds good on paper, and I wanted to love it. Yet when a story is so incomprehensibly boring, bolstered by shoddy performances, writing and editing, it's very difficult to find any redeeming qualities. Had this been the first adaptation and released in the mid naughties, it still would've been received poorly. A bad film is a bad film and Hellboy is just that. The fire has gone and the underworld of Hollywood has claimed its next intellectual property, which coincidentally is this year's worst film thus far. Great!