Jacob Richardson | 15/04/2019

A hell of a mess.


Hellboy (David Harbour) is an paranormal agent, working for his pseudo father Professor Broom (Ian McShane). When the evil immortal sorceress Nimue (Milla Jovovich) returns from the dead to raise hell, she targets Hellboy himself, who she sees as her prince in the coming apocalypse. Hellboy must fight against his destructive destiny to destroy this witch, with the help of the badass necromancer Alice (Sasha Lane) and military man Major Ben Daimio (Daniel Dae Kim).


Directed by Neill Marshall, Hellboy is undoubtedly one of the most disappointing movies of 2019. Pitched as a more adult version of the red hero, this undertaking wildly misses the mark, instead delivering a juvenile, obfuscated film obsessed with itself, with zero consideration for the audience.


From the very first lines, you get a feeling that this nightmarish film is preparing to launch you into the depths of hell for the next 120 minutes. For not a single second of its wildly too long runtime does Hellboy try to provide anything you were looking for from this gritty incarnation. Where it should be horrific, it is instead comic-ly gory; where it should be funny, it is instead cringeworthy; where it should be engaging, it is instead snooze-worthy.


David Harbour’s Hellboy has none of the fun or joi de vivre of the Perlman incarnation. Dae Kim is onenote as a seemingly pointless sidekick, and Alice is an endlessly complicated character whose troublesome relationship with Hellboy is only made up for by the cool as hell performance by Lane.


Meanwhile, as Nimue, Jovovich has never been worse; a tour de force of bland banality that seems intent on stripping you of the will to live. If it doesn’t get you there, then the horrid CGI of Ian McShane’s face on a ghostly body sure will.


Hellboy certainly earns its R-rating with a terribly gruesome scene towards the end in an apocalyptic London. But as horrible as rampaging demons skinning people alive on the streets of London are, they don’t even come close to the experience of having to watch this poor excuse for a film.


For the love of God, spare yourself; avoid Hellboy at all costs.