Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Hellboy 2019

I am a big fan of Mike Mignola and his character Hellboy. The distinctive art was perfect for tales of a big monster who fights other bad monsters for a secret society (BPRD - The Bureau of Paranormal Research and Development) who keeps a tight reign on those things that go 'bump in the night'.

This movie has been roasted by critics and only earned a score of 15% on Rotten Tomatoes but I never let that keep from seeing something I thought I would enjoy from the trailer and Hellboy always has a place in my heart. So let's see if it's really as bad as they say. 63% of the audience liked it and I did as well. This is one instance where the critics got it wrong. I don't know what they were looking for in a HELLBOY movie but it's not as bad as they say.

Ron Perlman was one of the few actors I thought could ever bring the character to live action and his two movies were great. This time it's David Harbour (Stranger Things) turn at the role and I thought he handled himself well under all that make-up and effects. He gets the character's sadness and the way he jokes to cover up his own feelings which are deep. Raised to do the right thing by humanity, he is tormented by the knowledge that he is one bad day away from becoming one of the monsters he has saved the world from all his life. He also has major Daddy issues. More on that later.

Ian McShane is good in anything and some of the lines they have him say in this film will be part of any highlight reel of his career. I love how to treats every character as it it's the last one he will ever play.

Mila Jovovich loves to chew the scenery which the movie allows her to do in spades. She cranks her delivery to 11 and keeps it there for the entire film. She plays an immortal witch who is brought back to life after centuries of confinement. Since Hellboy was destined to destroy the world, Mila needs him to be her king and usher in the end of man. Get it? Doesn't matter.  Nothing new here but it's played for all the camp the creators can wring out of the situation. It's all nonsense but it's comic book nonsense so I bought all that they wanted to sell me. Somehow they actually try to connect the 'plight' of the monster to a kind of story about the dangers of immigration and minority rights. Yeh, no shit. As much as I loves me some Mila, there was times I would have just preferred that she didn't say anything because what she was saying was hurting my brain.


Thomas Haden Church is also pretty sweet as Lobster Johnson who is a big part of the larger Hellboy universe. His scene is short but I could watch an entire story set in WWII with him in it.
The creature effects and fight scenes were a lot of fun here and the deaths are espcially blood soaked and gruesome which is perfect for the material. I also like Daniel Dae Kim as Agent Daimio who has his own 'secret identity'. Yes, he turns into a cheetah so Hellboy does have a kitty buddy. The story he tells about how he became the kitty cat creature is pretty great. I like characters with difficult choices when they make the right ones. Yeh Daniel is an asshole but he's our asshole. And god damn the cheatah is a pretty great curse to have if you gotta be cursed with something. Now I want to be a kitty puma man.
Alice is another companion that joins the adventure. Yes, she is THAT Alice from Wonderland and she can predict the future and talk to spirits. I liked her spunk and bravery. She is sanity in all the insanity.

Everyone also seems to want to kill Hellboy, even those he should be able to trust. His father is the only one who kept him alive as a boy when he should have killed him. Hellboy starts to feel like he has more in common with the monsters he kills than the humans he swore to protect and that makes him susceptible to Mila's evil charms. But Mila is not any witch I would want to serve. She's kind of bitter and self centered to me. I would not be her king.
"It's not going to work out because I'm a Capricorn and you're fucking nuts!"
Hellboy is a teen boys idea of what a cool movie about monsters should be. I liked this movie. Harbour is good in the role and he only gets better as the movie goes on. He puts his own spin on the boozy, disillusioned, selfish but noble monster that Mike Mignola originally envisioned. But so many of these scenes could be interchanged in various ways and the movie would still come out the same.
The third act (Or is this the sixth act?) is deliciously full of chaos and bad CGI that exists only in the darkest of dark nights onscreen. We all know that Universe. It's false ending after false ending and quest after quest and after awhile it does seem to pile on but it ends just when I needed it to. It's all rubbish and nonsense but delightfully so. Everything is right where it needs to be when it needs to be. Information they need to make Hellboy fulfill his 'destiny' comes exactly when they need it but it is all balloon juice and it works for me. Like a good comic book movie should. There is a lot of sameness in the action scenes but what else can these characters do but punch the hell out of each other?  Or shoot at each other but everyone is basically indestructable to no one will die. No one important anyways. Oh and there is much stabbing. Keep the toddlers at home. They will be scared.
And for the big 'reveal'. Wow. I didn't think they would go there. But they DID. Hogwash but the finest of the finest hogwash. Now at this point I can see many people bailing but I didn't. It had it's own kind of goofy charm and I am glad I saw it. Check it out in about a year on TV and I bet you won't change the channel.


DrGoat said...
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Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Sorry. Doctor G. I did that by accident. Moderation