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 C.I.A.-linked U.S. agency Bureau of Paranormal Research, which secretly studies and uses 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 in a mental asylum. Johnny, Hellboy, and Clay team up on missions against paranormal threats with aquatic-bionic freak Abe ...Written by
Some theaters in the southern United States balked at the idea of advertising a movie with the word "Hell" in it. See more »
In many fight scenes, characters are hit hard enough that they fly through the air. They fly in a straight line, when they should follow a parabolic arc. 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 »
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 »
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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