Hellboy, based on the Dark
Horse comics by Mike Mignola, features a storyline that goes something
like this: In 1944, the increasingly desperate Germans
have decided to enlist black magic to help them win World War II. Grigori
Rasputin (yes, that Rasputin) opens a gateway to "the other side" to
bring the Seven Gods of Chaos over to help the German cause. An Allied
patrol interrupts the ceremony but not before a small demon baby makes
it to earth. The demon -- nicknamed Hellboy -- joins the Allied's battle
against the misuse of the occult.
Starring: Ron Perlman, John Hurt, and Selma
Flash forward to present-day and Hellboy (Ron Perlman) once again faces
Rasputin (Karel Roden), who has been revived by his lover Ilsa (Bridget
Hodson) and henchman Karl Ruprect Kroenen (Ladislav Beran). Rasputin has
unleashed Sammael, a regenerative demon that continously resurrects itself,
in an effort to lure Hellboy to a site that will allow him to finish the
ceremony started in 1944.
a lot of potential but fails to deliver. The action sequences are mostly
CGI-driven and, therefore, lack any real sense of urgency.
I noticed a lot of similarities between the action in Hellboy and
that of Blade II before I realized that both films were directed
by Guillermo del Toro. Somehow, he's perfected the way to suck the actual
of action scenes.
Not being a fan of the original comic book, the character of Hellboy
was somewhat perplexing. I suppose that fans would enjoy the film a bit
more (or less) depending on how accurate the adaptation from the character's
original source material manages to be. I just found the movie's hero
to be rather a mixed bag with his bellyaching over Liz (Selma Blair),
somehow trying to be aloof and yet still being interested in spouting
one-liners and cracking jokes.
The film's villain, Rasputin, is absent through most of the film. However,
henchman Kroenen, who comes off as an undead Darth Maul, seems to present
more problems for Hellboy and friends. Nothing like upstaging the boss,
I guess. Sammael and his brethren are quite plentiful but come off as
an annoyance for the characters and a time-waster for the audience.
Hellboy is a disappointment from the beginning to its rather anti-climactic
Hellboy, Sammael, Ivan the corpse, and Kroenen were all voiced by
Guillermo del Toro. (Source: The
Internet Movie Database)