An Awkward Review

Yes, I didn’t update yesterday. But fear not! I have plans for tomorrow and Wednesday so let’s try a three-days-in-a-row spree to apologise for forgetting to update.

And this is a more intro-runs-into-actual-content review. Just saying.

Hellboy Movie PosterThis is a classic example on why I should never look at a film’s critical reception before reviewing it.

As I’m pushed for time at this very moment (a house needs to be hoovered), I’ll cut to the chase. Let’s say I see a film I enjoy. Great! I like this bit and that part and the way they did the other piece: let’s review it!

But then the demon on my right shoulder beckons me: go on, type it in. It’s just fifteen characters: Rotten Tomatoes. Sorry angel on the left, you didn’t interject in time. And low and behold, the film is deemed 0%, and all audience members have been severely traumatised by the experience.

So I have a dilemma. On the one hand, I feel awkward because I’m the 0%, and even more awkward because now I’m thinking of that review. And I know I will add a nice point just to seem to be following the flock of sheep. Please, play on Pied Piper.

And Hellboy is one of those movies. Because I hated it. I absolutely hated it. Oh my gosh how I loathed this movie. The plot-holes were catastrophic, the humour seemed to be made for a child, and some characters were just utterly ridiculous. Why, oh why did people like it?

I mean, take the writing. Let’s see how many plot-holes I can mention… *deep breath* why a fire-conjurer is put in a civilian mental asylum, why John Myers, recently transferred, is shown Hellboy right off the bat, why he is then tasked to look after Hellboy after one visit, why Liz’s pyrokinetic powers are so randomly activated (she has control, and then she doesn’t, and then she does again), how Abe escaped an army of hell-dogs without any explanation, why Hellboy survives multiple grenades in a small space, why Hellboy helps Rasputin, archvillain, even though he’s thrown away his bargaining chip, why Rasputin creates a big monster when he dies *deep gasp* and finally why this film was written for a wider audience.

Because that’s what it felt like. I wanted to see more grit and gore. The thing is called Hellboy for crying out loud! Cut out that soppy ending for a start (although that could be the way the comics play it off – I doubt it, but I may be wrong). Jeffrey Tambor as Hellboy-hating Manning is literally sickening. Jeffrey Tambor is a great actor, but his part was just so… urgh. The dialogue was for simpletons, being the generic high-ranking guy who doesn’t like getting his hands dirty and craves control like a toddler who’s been put on the naughty step.

Rasputin sucked too, played by Karel Roden. Again, the writer’s fault because Rasputin was the bad guy who was bad for the sake of having a bad guy. Oh, and he hung out with Nazis too.

But here comes the nice paragraph, because their were (somehow) some good moments. The CGI made me nauseous on occasion, but I can see the work that went into it, and it was very cool… as were the fight scenes. It was choreographed, with the monsters having interesting abilities, but I just wanted them to notch up the violence more. Get some decapitations in there or something!

Plus, there were awesome characters. Star Ron Perlman as the eponymous “boy” played his character well, and I could see Hellboy, despite being around sixty to seventy years old being the cross between grouchy tween and rebellious adult. Other characters like Kroenen and Abe Sapien were great characters to play with, and they carried the film for me in a way.

But time to bring the hammer home:


Hellboy is a film that I should be jumping for joy for. However, after ten years, its age is beginning to show, and the sloppy writing, appalling characters, and lack of substance makes it fall flat, hiding the redeeming factors. Time to watch Golden Army!


Hellboy quote