Hellboy (2004)

hellboy poster 2004 movie review
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Great style, fun characters

Story and enemy are kind of generic

Movie Info

Movie Name: Hellboy

Studio: Revolution Studios

Genre(s): Comic Book/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s): April 2, 2004

MPAA Rating: PG-13

hellboy ron perlman gun

Have gun…will slay!

A Nazi ritual summons a creature of unknown origins to Earth in 1944.  Raised by Trevor Bruttenholm (John Hurt), Hellboy (Ron Perlman) has joined the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense to battle the occult and the horrors that lurk in the darkness.  John Myers (Rupert Evans) has just been assigned to Hellboy and discovers his first days at BPRD could be his last.  A strange frog creature has surfaced and the “frog” seems only to multiply when killed.  The key to the mystery could be Hellboy himself and the man that summoned him to Earth (Karel Roden) may need Hellboy to complete his evil plans.  Now it is up to BPRD, Hellboy, and his friends Abe Sapien (Doug Jones) and Liz Sherman (Selma Blair) to save the world from the darkness…or Hellboy could just be the cause!

hellboy vs karl ruprecht kroenen ron perlman

I’m a regular Indiana Jones fighting Nazis

Adapted and directed by Guillermo del Toro, Hellboy is a comic book paranormal adventure action-comedy.  The movie adapts Mike Mignola’s acclaimed Hellboy comic book series (primarily taking aspects of 1994’s Hellboy:  Seeds of Destruction).  The film was released to positive reviews and was a modest success at the box office.

I honestly hadn’t really read much Hellboy when Hellboy was released.  I had flipped through some issues and “knew” the character, but not much about the background.  Seeing Hellboy (and seeing it again multiple times), it is a solid film, but it does take some work to get the tone of the film.

The movie is really a rather even blend of a lot of genres.  While most action adventure movies have “zingers” thrown in, Hellboy establishes the lighter tone pretty early on and keeps it throughout.  Some of the one-liners and gags are almost “Dad” jokes, but they are in with the tone of the characters and the movie’s story.  This combines with a dark, dark tale of Lovecraftian creatures threatening to takeover and enslave the world…plus a lot of action sequences.  While all these pieces are in movies of the MCU series, it feels composed completely different here for a different product.

hellboy 2004 ivan kilimatovich ron perlman

I want a stand alone Ivan Kilimatovich movie

The movie benefits from a good cast.  Ron Perlman is a Guillermo favorite and fits the big brawling earthbound demon.  He has a way about him that is very expressive through all the make-up and can still emote what he is thinking.  Selma Blair plays the emo-esque fire-based on-again-off-again partner and girlfriend of Hellboy and her delivery and tone shows a person tired of fighting the powers she possesses.  The flipside of both character is Abe Sapien played by Doug Jones and voiced by David Hyde Pierce who seems to just accept who he is and isn’t in conflict with his condition.  You get the squeaky clean Rupert Evans as the new guy to the group and Jeffrey Tambor as the “suit”.  Karel Roden is the dark Rasputin, but Ladislav Beran’s silent Karl Ruprecht Kroenen is the creepy scene stealer.

hellboy apocalypse horns

Will Hellboy save the world or destroy it?

The visuals of the film are what you expect from Guillermo del Toro and do a great job brining Mignola’s unique art to life.  You have a dark, dark world with a bright red hero in it.  It is a unique contrast and it almost has Hellboy “shining” in all his scenes.

Hellboy is an interesting trip that is worth taking on occasion.  I’ll admit that the first time I saw it I enjoyed it but didn’t love it.  The film has grown on me especially as the superhero genre keeps pumping out more and more clones of the previous films.  Hellboy is an original.  Hellboy was followed by two animated shorts with the same actors voicing over Hellboy Animated:  Sword of Storms in 2006 and Hellboy Animated:  Blood & Iron in 2007 with an official sequel Hellboy II:  The Golden Army released in 2008.

Related Links:

Hellboy Animated:  Sword of Storms (2006)

Hellboy Animated:  Blood & Iron (2007)

Hellboy II:  The Golden Army (2008)

Hellboy (2019)

Hellboy:  Seed of Destruction

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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