At an archaeological dig in the ancient city of Hamunaptra, an American serving in the French Foreign Legion accidentally awakens a mummy who begins to wreck havoc as he searches for the reincarnation of his long-lost love.
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.
At the end of World War II, Nazi officers Karl Ruprecht Kroenen and Ilsa Haupstein start an experiment to raise the forces of hell trough Russian dark mystic Rasputin on a Scottish island, but it's interrupted by an allied commando guided by professor Trevor "Broom" Bruttenholm. He prevents killing the human-demonic half-blood which was accidentally created and raises this 'Hellboy', while rising to head of a secret CIA-linked US agency Bureau of Paranormal Research, which secret studies and uses the to the occult, including supernatural freaks. As 'father' Broom is aging, he hand-picks brilliant, sensitive agent John Myers as new minder-companion, as regular 'warrior' agent Clay can't empathize and lacks flexibility mental. Hellboy is quite a handful, regularly spotted by worried civilians on unauthorized excursions, especially to pyro-telekinetic freak friend Liz in a mental asylum. Johnny, Hellboy and Clay team up on missions against paranormal threats with aquatic-bionic freak Abe...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, 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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Under the "Special Thanks To" - Erik Irastorza who was born during our shoot. See more »
The Hellboy 3-disc director's cut DVD is ten minutes longer. (132 minute director's cut versus 122 minute regular version). Restores a few deleted/extended scenes back into the movie. See more »
As far as most comic-book movies go, they usually follow the same-old path of showing us the origins of whatever hero for about 45 minutes before getting into a real (but usually superficial) plot. This can lead to a never-ending list of deadbeats such Hulk, Spider-Man and Catwoman and rarely ends up with a good movie (Batman Begins is one rare example). Guillermo Del Toro seems to make a compromise of introducing Baby Hellboy during the end of WWII and then flashing forward 60 years to adult HB (though genetically he's barely out of his 20s) working for the Government.
The Beurau of Paranormal Research uses Hellboy as a weapon against the forces of evil. Being a demon from Hell himself, but preferring to fight for the good side, HB works with Abe Sabien (a very likable sort of fish-man) and his pyro-kinetic would-be girlfriend Liz. Raised by Professor Broom (John Hurt) he regularly has fallings out with his human father and even hides his cigarette smoking from him. I find the stroppy teenager attitude a unique character quirk that works well. What's even cooler is HB fondness for cats. Which not a typical characteristic of a demon born in Hell.
The world's last living super-evil Nazis resurrect the mad-monk Grigori Rasputin and aim to bring about Armageddon by awakening sleeping Lovecraftian Gods, frozen in time at the edge of the universe. A tough job, even for HB, but it's all in a days work for the Beurau of Paranormal Research.
Del Toro works wonders in bringing to life atmospheric sets (check out the flooded subway station) and horrific creatures but stops short of making Hellboy a dark epic. The CGI is impressive and the visions of Hell are interesting but there's just some intangible element that seems to be missing and the film feels incomplete. Even the Director's Cut still feels a bit alienating.
However the action and humor is quite entertaining and the villains (especially 107-year-old, crazed assassin Kroenen) are definitely the kind you want to see die horribly. Enjoy it for what it is, even if you feel it's not entirely wholesome by the end.
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