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.
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
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 »
After Red throws Manning under the closing door and the causeway begins to crumble under his feet, Hellboy is obviously being suspended on a trapeze since the bricks under his feet are dropping and he is staying elevated and flailing about as opposed to falling or moving forward. You can see when the camera goes to a behind the back shot, that the collar on his coat is perked up, indicating that there is a cable supporting him which was digitally erased in post-production. 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 is a scene in the closing credits: Dr. Manning tries to contact his team, while a shadow passes by. 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 »
Great entertainment delivered in a visually stylish package
Guillermo Del Toro's "Hellboy" is really the sort of comic book adaptation that should be commonplace- a film that feels every bit like a comic book in its energy, style, and visual feel, but is entirely worthy on a cinematic level as well.
Sadly, "Hellboy" doesn't really have much of a plot, at least for half of its running time. Its first hour is Hellboy fighting squids and the mandatory character introductions, and its second hour feels pretty rushed as a result, having to introduce and resolve the bulk of the film's story. Thankfully, however, "Hellboy" avoids the comic book-to-film cliché of basing the first film of any given franchise on the 'superhero origin story' (not that Hellboy is much of a superhero, he's really just a smartass with a gun, except he's from hell), instead keeping all that to a short and dazzling pre-credits sequence. Other than the somewhat rushed and oddly-placed plot aspects, Del Toro's screenplay is fairly impressive, providing plenty of nods towards the comics and a good amount of wit and humor, also echoing the nature of Mike Mignola's work.
The most impressive aspects of "Hellboy" are Del Toro's direction and Guillermo Navarro's photography. Del Toro was always a superb director in terms of visuals, although I've had issues with several of his scripts. His most accomplished film to date in this regard would probably be the superb "The Devil's Backbone", but "Hellboy" shows that he has a surprising knack for directing action in a fluid manner without resorting to the cheap method of quick cutting. Also notable in terms of Del Toro's work here is how he subtly manages to pay homage to the memorable artwork of the comics, for example the overhead shots of Hellboy.
The CGI effects are quite good considering the film's relatively modest budget, and thankfully they don't form the basis for much of this film. The cast are all solid if not fantastic, although Ron Perlman is probably the best actor I can think of to play Hellboy. The final shot is beautiful and perfectly in keeping with the pulp poetry of not only this film but also the comics it is based on.
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