Hellboy Review


Director: Neil Marshall
Starring: David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim and Thomas Haden Church

When Guillermo Del Toro first brought Hellboy to the big screen way back in 2004, it showed what could be done with a relatively small budget and heaps of imagination.

Unfortunately, Neil Marshall’s 2019 reboot of Hellboy has none of the imagination of Del Toro’s films and proves that a bigger budget and more gore doesn’t always result in a better film.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first, this new interpretation of Hellboy is awful and stinks of studio interference.

I feel a bit strange calling it Neil Marshall’s film because it so clearly isn’t what he had in mind for the character, and there have since been reports of problems on set and a rather strange story involving an argument over a tree.

Image via Lionsgate

Some dads give their kids Legos.


To cut a long story short, the director wanted it one way, and the producer wanted it another, and it sounds as if the parties involved got their handbags out.

That said, there is one good thing to be said about this new Hellboy film and that’s that David Harbour is good as the creature who’s come from the depths of Hell in order to protect humanity against the things that go bump in the night. However, he is a bit too whiney for my liking.

Apart from that, everything else is terrible. The film makes absolutely no sense. It goes from one scene to the next like a high-speed train and it feels as if you’re just a passenger on this train watching the scenery pass by and you aren’t allowed to take in anything of what’s actually going on.

The reason for this is pretty clear. It’s because there’s no plot to speak of here, and that’s due to the fact that the film’s been cut, then recut and then cut again by a series of different people.

hellboy header
Image via Lionsgate

Heeeeey! I’m on your side!


It would be interesting to get a glimpse of what really went on behind-the-scenes on this film because I struggle to fathom how they got this so wrong.

It was headache inducing, mainly down to the terrible visuals and the atrocious score.

Hellboy arguably has one of the worst film scores this year. They just put in a heavy metal or rock song wherever they felt like and it completely takes the viewer out of the movie.

The song choices make no sense and it gives the film a horrible early 2000s vibe. Believe me what I say that there have been better Resident Evil movies made than this, and they’re not good, but they have a certain charm to them which this film severely lacks.

After having watched this disaster of a movie, I went back to watch Del Toro’s films, just to make sure I wasn’t looking back on them with rose-tinted glasses.

Image via Lionsgate

Why do you fight for those who hate and fear you?

Nimue the Blood Queen

Well, I wasn’t. Del Toro’s films may be slighted dated as far as CGI is concerned, but they deliver in every other aspect.

The set design is gorgeous. Ron Perlman’s Hellboy is genuinely funny and witty. Doug Jones is terrific as Abe Sapien, and both films have good villains.

None of this is the case with the new Hellboy and it just makes me so sad to think that we got this turgid excuse of a movie over Del Toro’s vision for a third movie in his Hellboy franchise.

I don’t enjoy being mean about a film like this, because people have obviously spent hours working on it. Yet, it is the product of a poor script, and even worse management.

It feels as though nobody was on the same page here, and that always spells disaster and it was basically doomed from the off.

I expected so much more from a director of Marshall’s quality. He’s given us the likes of The Descent – which is an incredible horror movie – and Dog Soldiers which is well worth checking out. He also directed some great episodes of Game of Thrones and Hannibal.

Image via Lionsgate

I thought we were supposed to be fighting monsters, not working with them.

Ben Daimio

He seemed like a great choice at the time, however, things didn’t turn out well for anybody with this film, and it gone on to be a compete dud at the box office.

I really really wanted to enjoy and like this film, but I have to say that I had a terrible time in the cinema with it.

I can’t finish this review without mentioning some of the accents. Hellboy has to get the award for worst ever British accents in a movie. They’re terrible. And I wouldn’t land all the blame on the actors in question. I won’t name them as that’s not really fair, but you’ll know which ones I’m talking about when, or if, you see the movie.

I would place the brunt of the blame at the writers’ feet, since they’ve clearly never set foot in the UK or ever heard a British person speak. Some of the things these characters say are straight from the Dick Van Dyke school of British accents and phraseology. I half expected one of the characters to break into a rendition of Chim Chimney.

I couldn’t believe that not a single person on set said: “Hey. Maybe we should change some of the dialogue here because no Brit would ever say this!”

It’s made even worse by the fact that Neil Marshall is from Newcastle! What on Earth was going on whilst making this movie. Perhaps he just had too much stuff on this plate to worry about the terrible British accents.

Anyway, Hellboy is still playing in a few UK cinemas, yet I would strongly advise you to give this movie a wide berth, for your own good.

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