Review – Hellboy (2019)
Directed by: Neil Marshall
Produced by: Martin Bernfeld
Written by: Andrew Cosby
Release Date: April 11th 2019 (UK)
Whilst taking notes for my review for Hellboy 2019, I realised that if the movie actually has one thing going for it; it’s that it’s impressive. It is impressive in the sense that it actually made me question the futility of time and why I was wasting my short time on this earth re-watching this atrocious piece of trash. There were several times whilst watching the film that I actually couldn’t quite bring myself to believe how bad what I was witnessing onscreen really was. This might be the worst film I have ever seen.
It without a doubt took the crown of the worst superhero movie ever made from Fan4stic when it was released and is frankly downright insulting to Hellboy fans. I still cannot believe that they chose to make this trash over another movie with Ron Perlman and Del Toro. Almost every single aspect of this movie is garbage and there are hardly any redeeming features.
Let’s talk about the main character; this movie’s version of Hellboy. We all knew going in that David Harbour had some pretty big shoes to fill, as following Perlman’s take on the character was never going to be easy. In Harbour’s defence, pretty much the only slightly positive aspect of this version of the character is the fact that you can tell that Harbour is doing the very best with the extremely poor material he has been given to work with. Most of his lines are awful and the way that his character is written as a moaning, whiny teenager is actually insulting to the character. Also, the excessive makeup he is wearing means that he is hardly able to emote with his mouth. When he is talking, his mouth simply opens and closes like a puppet and it is painfully obvious that the dialogue has been dubbed in later and even that has not been done very well. The other slight positive in this movie was getting to see Hellboy in his full demonic getup with long horns and donning the flaming crown and sword. While this sequence was pretty cool, unfortunately this is the only fleeting glimpse of coolness we get before we are right back to the crap.
One of the most memorable elements of the Del Toro Hellboy movies were the cast, unfortunately they have been substituted with an insufferably annoying lot of replacements. The actress playing Alice may give the worst performance that I have ever seen in a comic book movie, (and I saw Polar!) Every single line that she uttered was extremely cringe-worthy and poorly delivered. Daniel Dae Kim was almost as bad as Hellboy’s other sidekick. Again, a lot of his lines were ADR’d in later and really shoddily done. Ian McShane plays Broom, the scientist that found Hellboy and adopted him and he is clearly sleepwalking his way through this role for the sake of an easy paycheck. As is Milla Jovovich, who plays a stereotypical villainous witch and does absolutely nothing new here that we haven’t seen her do before in other movies.
Over my years of watching almost every comic book movie that releases, I have seen my fair share of cheap, cartoony looking CGI, but this takes the cake. Almost every scene in the movie features some kind of CGI creature and they are all on a similar level of quality to an unfinished student project. One moment where it really stood out was the fight with the giants, – where we were subjected to not only one bad CGI giant, but three of them. The scene is also shot in broad daylight, which really does the bad CGI no favours. Not once did anything in this movie look better than the effects in the Del Toro movies which came out 10+ years ago.
At this point in my Hellboy review, I’ve decided that I’m going to spoil the end of the movie, because seriously who even cares at this point? The absolute worst part of CGI in the entire movie, is during one of the final scenes where Ian McShane comes back to speak to Hellboy as a ghost. The CG in this scene is genuinely on par with the Rock’s CG in in the Scorpion King. Yes, it really is that bad.
The soundtrack is so misused here also. The songs featured themselves are all half decent songs, but they do not work in the context of this film and they add absolutely nothing to the scenes that they are used in. The editing is also horrible. There were several times that I was reminded of the cheap editing in shows like Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
The last thing that I want to talk about is the tone and humour, (or lack of,) present throughout the film. The movie opens with a flashback scene showing King Arthur chopping up the witch. The scene is being narrated by Ian McShane and it is chock-full of diabolically awful dialogue and insufferably cheesy line delivery. Whilst watching it I thought, “Oh they are really hamming it up here and going for a really corny tone for these flashback scenes.” I then swiftly came to the soul-crushing conclusion that no, – this was how the next 2 hours of this movie was going to go. The awful sense of humour is actually comparable to that in a poor quality kids film, with gross out burp and kiss jokes to boot. What happened to the darker, more horror orientated tone that we were teased with when the movie was in pre-production? Any semblance of that is sorely lacking here and it is a real shame because I would have quite liked to have seen that movie and there is a good chance that it would have been a lot better than this dumpster fire.
After re-watching Neil Marshall’s Hellboy for review, my advice would be; please don’t see this unless you hate yourself. It is two hours of your life that would be better spent doing literally anything else. Astonishingly, at the end of the film it actually has the audacity to tease a sequel which, (if there is a God,) will never happen.
Let us know what you thought of our review for Hellboy (2019) in the comments below or leave your own rating.
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