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Review Hellboy (2019): A giant mess that fails on many levels!

genre: comic book, super hero. adventure, fantasy, action

Hellboy (2019) is a reboot nobody asked for. Although I kind of understand why they wanted to revamp the franchise. I am sure with the success of Marvel and some of the DC films Lionsgate thought through Dark Horse Entertainment could tap into the shared universe of the Dark Horse Comics and have their own success. This reboot was going to be more faithful to the source material as Guillermo del Toro like many good directors had their own vision of what Hellboy should be.

The question is, was that really the reason why Hellboy never truly kicked of the franchise? The critical reception of the early Hellboy films was good. And they were moderate financial successes. But truth of the matter is that Hellboy simply doesn't have the same appeal as for example Spiderman or Superman. It was always only going to be a franchise that would be liked by a niche audience. Not that it couldn't breach out and become bigger. From what I have seen there is enough in the source material and the shared universe to make it compelling. However none of the Hellboy films managed to portray the magnitude of this potential. Guillermo del Toro very deliberately kept it small. Because he had very different goals. So in order for this reboot to make an impact they had to go all out and gives us a taste of what could be.

And it failed. Miserably. The story, the events, the characterization, the direction and almost everything you can think of is done poorly. Only the action is mildly entertaining although even that is due to the cast. They do their best to work with the material and they give the film a tiny bit of soul. Apart from that the film lacks heart and passion. The ending does give us a glimpse of what could have been but it's far too late in the film to make me overlook, forget and forgive of all the badness I had to endure. Hellboy tries to do to many things instead of just focusing on the one story and fleshing out the characters. They could have showed sides and traits to Hellboy we haven't seen before. Instead like DC they couldn't wait to implement subplots and characters that could play a role in future films. Big deal. These film makers all seem to forget that Marvel set up the characters first and then made them connect. It took careful planning and time to make MCU happen. The worst of all was that I couldn't get into these events. I really wanted to but everything was mostly so boring that I grew tired of it. So much so that I had to turn off the film and take a nap. After my nap I forced myself to finish it and fortunately this was at the moment events started to pick up some pace. Mind you that is after a whole hour or so.

I still see the potential of Hellboy and co. But in order for that to happen they need someone with a vision, heart and balls not to get trampled by studio interference. I don't blame Neil Marshal because apparently he had everyone turned against him. However that leaves us with a Hellboy that simply is not worth your time.

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