In the final days of World War II, the Nazis attempt to use black magic to aid their dying cause. The Allies raid the camp where the ceremony is taking place, but not before a demon - Hellboy - has already been conjured. Joining the Allied forces, Hellboy eventually grows to adulthood, serving the cause of good rather than evil. Written by
Just after the opening credits we see what is later revealed to be Ilsa, Kroenen and a guide in a snowy, rocky setting which is described as "Birgau Pass, Moldavia" in the caption - Birgau, or Borgo (a popular location in vampire lore), is in fact in Romania. See more »
Professor Trevor 'Broom' Bruttenholm:
What is it that makes a man a man? Is it his origins, the way things start. Or is it something else, something harder to describe? For me it all began in 1944, classified mission off the coast of Scotland. The Nazis were desperate. Combining science and black magic they intended to upset the balance of the war. I was 28, already a paranormal advisor to President Roosevelt. I could never have suspected that what would transpire that night would not only effect the course of history ...
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During the closing credits there's a brief shot of Dr. Manning still trying to contact someone on his team and getting nothing in response. A shadow of a Sammael passes in the background as the scene fades back to credits. See more »
Director Guillermo del Toro already showed with his previous movies that he has a great visual style. "Hellboy" is no exception and it has a great dark comic book atmosphere. Too bad that the story and most of the characters don't really work out the way they're supposed to.
The character of Hellboy self works out just great! This is thanks to mainly Ron Perlman but also to the very convincing make-up effects. The rest of the characters feel like they are only put in the movie to fill up the screen. Selma Blair is very boring as Liz Sherman and it never became clear to me in the movie why professor Bloom, out of all people picked John Myers. Not really a good character either. The two characters Abe Sapien and Tom Manning (Jeffrey Tambor is wonderful!), who were about the two most entertaining characters, disappear way too soon out of the movie. But most disappointing are the villains which are often the most important in 'super-hero' movies like these. Having Rasputin as the main villain of course is already a ridiculous idea itself but on top of that he simply isn't a very good and convincing villain. Uber-Nazi Karl Ruprect Kroenen is a way more interesting villain. He is the kind of villain I love in movies, cool outfit, awesome weapons, he can't seem to die and he has no lines. Excellent, scary, cool and mysterious all in one. Not bad for a 107 year old. He also was way more better than the most of the time, special effects monsters.
The special effects were at times good, mediocre and just at times unconvincing.
The action also was somewhat disappointing. I think this is due to the wrong offbeat pace in the movie. Everything is happening way too fast. One moment Hellboy is giving away some great, fun and cool one-liners and the next he's fighting a monster in the subway. Because everything is happening so fast, the story also isn't always easy to follow. The movie wasn't as entertaining as I had hoped and expected. I'm sure that when I read the script I would like the story better than I did while watching the movie.
It still is a somewhat entertaining movie to watch but not one that I would recommend to everyone. However I'm still looking forward to "Hellboy 2" also because 'superhero' sequels are only getting better and better these last couple of years ("Spider-Man 2", "X2"). Hopefully the title will be; "Hellboy 2: The Return of Kroenen"? One could only wish for...
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