Review – Hellboy (2019)

Hellboy’s third big screen offering, lacks everything that Del Toro brought to the franchise and offers virtually nothing in return for that loss

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Technically the 3rd in the cinematic franchise Hellboy, the 2019 offering is really a reboot, attempting to move away from the previous two films that had been born from the vision and direction of Guillermo Del Toro.

After the 2008 Hellboy : The Golden Army, Del Toro was developing a third film however funding issues apparently shut the prospect down. Instead, the decision was made to reboot the series with a new director (Neil Marshall) and written by Andrew Marshall. As part of this switch, Ron Perlman stepped down as Hellboy and David Harbour (Stranger Things) took on the lead role.

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The film sees Hellboy and team taking on a medieval sorceress (Milla Jovovich) and her various and gruesome allies, after she returns from the dismembered state that King Arthur banished her to in the Dark Ages.

Whoever wouldn’t fund Del Toro’s 3rd Hellboy film, but thought that this would work, shouldn’t be allowed to make such decisions any more. There are a lot of issues with this film – tone is a big one – but the biggest one is the inevitable comparisons with the previous two films.

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Del Toro built the fan base for Hellboy within cinema. The decision to step back from his next film, both in terms of his offering, but also in terms of style, tone and approach in the film itself was always going to hurt the reception of the film.

Against all of that then, the film offers nothing really in return. Harbour doesn’t do anything wrong in the main role, but is surrounded by too much noise and mess to really connect with an audience. Very disappointing.

3/10

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