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Review Hellboy (2004): Ron Perlman is Hellboy!

genre: super hero, fantasy, drama, action, adventure, lovecraftian

According to many reviewers and fans David Harbour was the best Hellboy as he was portrayed as the one closest to the source material. Now that may be the case, however on screen Harbour's performance was adequate at best. If the idea was for him to sell Hellboy to me then he failed. Ron Perlman however made me like a character I had no knowledge of whatsoever. He was actually the one who made me invested in this franchise.

Now the original Hellboy directed by Guillermo del Tor might be very flawed it does have more redeeming factors compared to the recent reboot. Like I said Ron Perlman really made the film more entertaining and compelling. Without him this film would not have worked. The story itself was a bit superficial with the usual bad guy (Raspoetin) wanting to dominate the world etcetera etcetera, Most amusing were the dynamics between the main characters. Especially between Hellboy and the other team members. It's these scenes that made me laugh the most. That and how Hellboy deals with the enemies. But yes one major flaw is that this origins film doesn't delve deep enough into the world and it's creatures. The mythology is barely touched upon and also doesn't seem to be that important. Especially the end goal or purpose of Raspoetin was one big MacGuffin. The relationship between Liz and Hellboy was far more important. Surprisingly it is an element that was the most appealing and entertaining. Considering how it demonstrated how Hellboy still is quite young and has a lot to learn.

The biggest flaw is the pacing. Apparently I watched the director's cut which has a duration of 132 minutes. In my opinion this was just too long. It completely slowed down the film in many scenes of the first hour. In these scenes there is a lot of focus on the visuals but not that much is happening. For a superhero film the action simply is not as plentiful as I would have liked to. At one point I was getting quite bored but fortunately for me events do seem to pick up in the second hour when they decide to let go of the main story for a bit and focus on Hellboy shannigans concerning Liz and John Myers. And then when to go back to the main story the pacing remains even. 

The ending was simple but touching and effective. Completely won me over. So even with all it's flaws there is a charm and heart to this film. Something I really missed with reboot Hellboy. I am not sure this will appeal to the masses but when given a chance is definitely worth your time.

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