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
EASTER EGG: When Agent Myers first meets Abe Sapien, Abe asks Myers to turn the page. If you move your mouse over to the bottom right hand corner where Myers is, you will see a Hellboy comic appear and when you click on it, it will give you a short biography on Abe. See more »
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, 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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The film title is formed from a cathedral passageway, accompanied by documents of Hellboy's sightings. 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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