Cinematic Releases: Fiery Respawn: Hellboy (2019) - Reviewed

For years, fans had awaited a third entry in Guillermo Del Toro's adaptation of Hellboy. And for that full amount of time, hope was repeatedly dashed as that great set of comic book movies would never receive their third and final installment. With a new director with less artistic vision at the helm, Hellboy is reborn under the disguise of this weekend's big release. Save your money. And save your time. Gone are the massive set designs, practical effects, and nearly perfect creature costumes. They've been haphazardly replaced by terribly rendered computer visuals and a generic script. 

The devil spawn has been rebooted under horror director Neil Marshall (The Descent) with a new lease on life that's most likely going to spell final doom for Hellboy and the BPRD. Unlike his predecessors, the relaunched Hellboy lacks the charm, the gorgeous visuals, the story, and the heart to recapture the greatness that the brand once knew. This reboot is for all intents and purposes the worst parts of Suicide Squad and Transformers: The Last Knight amalgamated into one devoid spectacle that's only highlighted by great performances from David Harbour and Milla Jovovich (who you can tell is trying her damnedest to escape the Resident Evil franchise here). She at least succeeds in that aspect. 

I always wanted a pony for Christmas!

Kicking right off with no introduction, 2019's Hellboy launches us right into the action, but is mildly light on exposition and a small amount of origin for the character. Luckily, we already know a lot about the character's background from the Del Toro flicks, so what happens here is just a brush up. Then we're put into another sad sack, absolutely heartless story about the devilishly horned hero going toe to toe with a series of giants, supernatural foes, and a bevy of gory scenes that actually do set this one apart from its predecessors. By the time we're seeing bodies ripped to shreds, heads bashed to death, and a literal shit ton of profanity spewed about, it's too little too late as we've already figured this movie is dead on arrival. There is nothing fun about this Hellboy. 

Yes, this one goes for the gusto with its sheer amount of violence and overboard gore. But there's no heart. There's no pulse. In fact, the movie is just straight up boring and feels like a total rehash of nearly every low budget comic book movie we've seen before. Adding to the negatives are the fact that the CGI is unbearably bad while the movie is so digital looking, it feels like we're watching a made for Netflix series. If this were the context (as it should be), that would be totally fine. This Hellboy would fit perfectly with a catalog of original series on a streaming outlet like Amazon, Hulu, or Netflix. It just doesn't feel like you're ever watching a movie. Instead, Hellboy (2019) honestly seems like a cash grab attempt to get some attention behind the character without ever giving him the soul he had when Ron Perlman was in those big boots. Again, it's not Harbour's fault. He's spectacular.  But everything else fails him. 

A year ago when this was announced, we all winced at the fact that a reboot was already on the way. And we all cried in pain when the first trailer arrived. But something happened when they released a few snippets. A lot of us gave it the 'okay, this looks better' nod of approval. It looked more like the comic. Excitement set in. Now, let me make one thing abundantly clear. It's not better. In fact, it's nearly as impossibly terrible as it could be. This is another case of the studio pulling a fast one and giving us a second version that could never live up to its previous working. 

It's not until its final post credits scene that Marshall finally captivates his audience with a stylish, comic book action scene that reveals the future. They're expecting a sequel (of course). But if this thing does as bad at the box office as it is in content, that day will never come. David Harbour deserved better than this. And so did Hellboy