In 1933 New York, an overly ambitious movie producer coerces his cast and hired ship crew to travel to the mysterious Skull Island, where they encounter Kong, a giant ape who is immediately smitten with leading lady Ann Darrow.
As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse.
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
Jeffrey Tambor stepped in to the production a week before filming kicked off, because the actor previously cast in the part of Manning didn't show up. See more »
When Kronen is first seen, he raises his arms and his blades rotate around like clock hands, from mechanisms obviously on the outside of his sleeves. Later, when he tries to retrieve the grenade, he clenches his right fist and the right blade retracts straight up his forearm, the mechanism beneath his sleeve. 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, a 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 ...
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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 »
Guillermo Del-Toro's exciting, fun tribute to the flamboyantly cool powers of comic books
Hellboy is self-conscious, perhaps, but in the best ways possible. Actually, it's more due to writer/director Toro being very aware of what makes up the conventional bits to every sense character-wise to the world of a comic-book, but also what can be entertaining as well, than it is just to having it being a Hellboy movie where the comic-book Hellboy already exists IN this world (guy sees the Hellboy comic, looks up, it's Hellboy!). We get the tough-as-nails, dryly witty, and possibly ticking-time-bomb hero in Hellboy, a deadly serious villain in Rasputin (yes, Rasputin, with a blonde Nazi as his evil side-kick no less), the young apprentice to the hero (Ruper Evans as John Meyers), the hero's love interest (Liz Sherman played by Selma Blair), the father figure (John Hurt's Professor), and the reluctant 'boss' (Jeffrey Tambor), not to mention the plucky side mutant in Abraham (Doug Jones) AND a magnificent creature in that hard-ass slug. They're all there, bright as day (or dark, depending on point of view), and it all works wonderfully due to Toro running with it all head on. It's not done in a way that's meant to pander to the audience, either, but just to have fun with the conventions, to see what makes them all crackle and pop under big-time special effects. It's not quite a guilty pleasure because Toro is also a smart craftsman.
And craftsman just as much as director, he crafts this world where the creatures (which were and still are Toro's forte) are fierce and radically charged, whether they're crucial to the picture like Rasputin's rabid, rapidly hatching slug-monsters that can only be killed one or two ways, or if it's just a minor creature like the zombie Russian corpse that leads a little of the way when Hellboy and his crew are in the main hideout of the villains ("I was better off dead!"). Toro is sensitive to the characters alongside this, and makes them all pretty believable- and I say pretty cause it's all a little simple, yet effective, in the main thrust of Hellboy's emotional core being about Liz and if she may or may not go for John over him- and doesn't dumb it down too much or contrive the relationships for the audience. It's a good balance, because there is A LOT of action in Hellboy, in fact probably at least a 60% allotment to either Hellboy fighting the monsters after him (usually in the subway, or in the Russian castle), or with the possibly un-dead assassin in the mask and leather who marks as one of the fiercest forces in comic book movies.
So, fan-boys rejoice, because Hellboy should, and hopefully will, have everything one looks for in a brawny, high-octane entertainment where humor isn't confused with cheesiness (Perlman is too well focused as a possible anti-hero to get into any of that, as he makes that hugely built red lug a very real being), and the action isn't over-done with a tongue-in-cheek. Not that Toro doesn't flirt with having goofy things in his picture, like a moment where Hellboy has to save a box of kittens from the grasp of the slug-monster. But they're earned moments among a very tightly constructed story where human evils in history and the bizarre in what is in the facts (Hitler into the occult, Rasputin's very long death) into a comfortably understood framework of comic-book clichés that never get too old when done right. Bottom line, can't wait for number 2!
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