The Plot – During World War II Hitler gains command of the Spear of Longinus (the fabled spear that pierced Christ on the Cross). Unable to match an unknown threat President Roosevelt decides to create the Bureau of Paranormal Research & Defense. Led by Professor Broom a special task force is sent to thwart Hitler’s latest plans led by Grigori Rasputin a follower of the dark arts.
U.S. Special Forces arrive too late to stop Rasputin from opening a portal to a hell dimension, but they manage to prevent anything from coming through… or so they think.
60 years later “Hellboy” has become the government’s secret weapon against evil. There are indeed things that go bump in the night and he will bump back.
The Review – Hellboy is based on the Dark Horse comic series. My club card will probably be revoked as I was not very familiar with this character before seeing the film. Personal musings aside, this movie will be thrown into the lot with other comic remakes. Held up against the likes of Spiderman, X-Men, Blade & even the Hulk expectations are bound to be high.
While the film carries itself with the predictable “good vs. evil” motif, what makes it stand out is the levity of its characters. Much like The Mummy the title characters provide humorous moments to break up what could be considered a slow paced action flick. Ron Perlman brings his own bit of humor & depth to the character of Hellboy. The movie may not have the same dramatic level achieved by Toby Maguire in Spiderman, but it does well for a first movie/origin story.
Where the film gets lost is the large cast of supporting characters. It would have been nice to see more development here, but the focus of course is the title character. I found the lead villain Rasputin rather boring and his underlings insignificant. I would have liked to have seen a little more variety in the monster/demon category. The much noted exception is Kroenen. This S.O.B. definitely needed MORE screen time. I’d like to see him show up in an X-Men flick for duels with Wolverine or even a spot in the next Blade movie.
If you’re the type of person who will nitpick details in plot and look for the flaws in CGI use then you may find contrast to my opinion. Overall I thought this was an enjoyable film based on the delivery by Ron Perlman as Hellboy.
Grade: A- (Hey, I got a thing for cats)