I worked my way through rush hour traffic to get to Hollywood and Highland, where Rafael and I were seeing Hellboy. I have not read the graphic novel. I have no background on the character or story. I only know what I saw from the trailer before seeing the film. As such, I can’t compare, but I can say that while it’s far from perfect, Hellboy was a fun movie to watch.
Ron Perlman, as Hellboy, is entertaining, and has a lot of great one-liners and side comments. It adds a level of humor to the film that I think was unexpected, considering the dark storyline featuring demons, Nazis, Rasputin, and the end of the world. By dealing with his strained relationship with Liz (Selma Blair), Hellboy has character, and the arc that progresses through the film is satisfying to watch. Towards the end, there was a scene that was very well done – they were acting, and successfully too. (Whodathunkit?)
The pacing of the film was pretty tight, and the look of it was appropriately dark and foreboding. The creature design was pretty good. The visual effects were very impressive (enough so to garner the cover story in Cinefex), and the music, while evoking memories of Trevor Jones’s The League of Extraordinary Gentleman, allowed Marco Beltrami to really push the orchestra and give us a big bold sound. I liked it, and look forward to the soundtrack!
Hellboy, like Dawn of the Dead, will have a pretty decent opening, but then a fast drop-off. It’s a nice big-screen film, but will probably have better longevity on home video. If you liked Blade II, you’ll probably like this one.