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
In the subway station fight, Hellboy fights the monster as the train comes into the station and leaves again. In a shot a minute later, the monster swings its arm at Hellboy and the reverse shot shows the train passing behind Hellboy again. However, in shots before and after, there was no second train on the heels of the first that passes by for a split second. The shot must have been moved from the prior sequence. 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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There are no opening credits save the 3-D title, which is flown over several times by the camera before it pulls back to reveal the full title. See more »
When you are watching a comic book movie you have to take certain things for granted. The superpowers, strange villains, things like that. They are there in a non-existing world; saying they are implausible is true but not relevant. What a comic book movie needs is a nice story that is set in its own world (although real existing places can be there too), an entertaining superhero played by an actor who is able to really create the character, spectacular visual effects that fit the action but most of all it needs to breath the right mood. 'Spider-Man 2' did a perfect job, 'X2', 'Blade II' and now 'Hellboy' come very close. The difference is that 'Hellboy' is the first from what will probably become a series.
The superhero in 'Hellboy' is, of course, Hellboy (Ron Perlman). How he arrives on earth has something to do with Nazis, around 1944, which we see in the first ten minutes of the movie. Let us say he is just here, present day, on the good side, with a professor named Bruttenholm (John Hurt) as his father figure; he was there when Hellboy came from hell. The villains are the same Nazis, you learn why they are still alive, and a lot of monsters they have created. We also meet a love interest for Hellboy named Liz (Selma Blair) and his new partner, Agent Myers (Rupert Evans).
So Hellboy will fight the Nazis and the monsters, but there is more. His father figure is close to death and the love interest, who sets on fire when she is excited, is not really interested. What makes this movie entertaining, besides the right mood we constantly feel, is the dry humor Ron Perlman brings to the character. Hellboy is supposed to be a secret for the outer world although rumors of his existence are there. When Agent Myers goes for a walk wit Liz Hellboy gets jealous and follows them over rooftops where he encounters a nine year old boy. The boy recognizes Hellboy and the scenes that follow the encounter are close to brilliant.
There are other very fine moments. At one point a character asks why photographs of UFO's, aliens or Hellboy are always blurry, not very sharp. We see the truth in this question although ironically in a comic book world the question is very out of place; Hellboy does exist. May be this is not the best comic book movie, but entertaining it is. Compare it to another 2004 movie like 'Spider-Man 2' this one seems flawed although we can see the same amount of fun the characters have. Compare it to the dark and brutal 2004 comic book movie 'The Punisher' and this one is terrific, feels like a comic book the entire time, has an interesting hero with humor. That everything around it is pretty silly we just have to take for granted.
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