Fifteen years after the film of the same name Guillermo del Toro, go back to the theaters Hellboy in a reboot that could not be more different from the original, for better or for worse.
Although it has been received negatively by audiences and critics alike, this new adaptation is not completely to be thrown away.

Regia

Behind the camera we find Neil Marshall, director of numerous horror films (among which stands out The Descent - Descent into darkness) but known to the general public for two episodes of The Throne of Swords: the siege of King's Landing in the second season and the attack on the Wall in the fourth. [Have you read our review of the first episode of the new season? You find it here]

Film script

To deal with the script, however, we find the original designer and creator of the character of Hellboy: Mike Mignola. His presence bode well for adherence to comics and this is one of the few aspects on which the film does not disappoint.
Just as in the printed press, in fact, violence is very present both verbally and visually, to the point of being classified as VM17 in the United States. In Italy, on the contrary, no restrictions have been applied but I would advise against it to anyone who was sensitive to the sight of blood and was not a lover of the splatter / gore genre.

PLOT

During the Second World War, with the help of the mystic Rasputin, the Nazis summoned a demon from hellish depths to use it as a weapon in Project Ragnarok. The BPRD (Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense) with the intent to eliminate the threat but one of the components, Professor Bruttenholm, decides to adopt the demon and train him as an agent of the organization.

Following a series of events and encounters, Hellboy will discover his origins and destiny as a bearer of the Apocalypse. It will be up to him to decide whether to fulfill his task or try to oppose the inevitability of events.

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DEFECTS

A banal gruyere

The plot manages to be too banal and at the same time confused: dotted with holes and overloaded with characters, it is further penalized by continuous leaps in time and space. What you get is a minestrone of Russian folklore and legends about King Arthur, with a pinch of Nazism to season it all.
To make matters worse there are the poor characterization of the characters (except for the protagonist) and the superficiality of the relationships between them. Despite the cast boasting actors of the caliber of Ian McShane, almost all are one-dimensional due to the poor writing of the script.

A CGI not up to par on all occasions

As if that were not enough, the CGI is more than a dancer: apart from scenes in which the use of the green screen, the digital rendering of the creatures goes from the mediocre of some to the unclassifiable of others, coming to completely ruin otherwise enjoyable scenes.

The end result is nothing short of trash but this could also be passable, wanting to consider it a B-movie. The impression is that the effect is desired but, at times, there is a little doubt that the hand has run away from the production.

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MUSIC

The original music was composed by Benjamin Wallfisch, name already known to the general public for It, Blade Runner 2049 e Shazam! [of which you find the review Thu!].

The musical column represents a sort of link between the past and the present, including branded classicons Mötley Crüe ed Alice Cooper, then move on to more recent songs by artists like Muse, X Ambassadors e Royal Blood.

Personally, I have yet to recover from the trauma of the Spanish version of Rock You Like a Hurricane of Scorpions inserted at the beginning of the film. It must be admitted that it harmonizes well with the level of trash general of the film but still a blow to the heart.

ADVANTAGES

The directorial aspect

Good direction by Marshall who, in some scenes, chooses the sequence plan technique (to understand us, the one used by Inarritu per Birdman and Cuarón for the initial segment of Gravity). It is certainly an appreciable choice although it is unusual for this type of film, which ends up following a bit the kind of Dog Soldiers, horror comedy as well as the director's first feature film.

David Harbor and the Hellboy character

A positive note is given by David Harbour, really on the piece in the role of Hellboy and dropped into the character. Returns from cinecomic not particularly appreciated by critics such as the green Hornet e Suicide Squad, here he had the opportunity to redeem himself and to distinguish himself with an interpretation at least a couple of spans higher than that of all the other actors, also thanks to the more careful writing of the protagonist. Having represented a teenage Hellboy (at least in a "demon" years), the absence of amorous implications in the plot is appreciable and it is more understandable the use, for his part, of a freely blossomed language.
It's just a pity that his interpretation loses a bit in the Italian dubbing, despite the fact that he gives the voice more than he has sailed Adriano Giannini (Heath Ledger ne The dark Knight).

Make up

The special prosthetic effects are an eye balm: the make-up artists have done an excellent job and compensate for some CGI disasters but this is not surprising, having been guided by the skilful hand of Joel harlow (Oscar winner for Star Trek in the 2010).

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FINAL CONSIDERATIONS

Hellboy overall it's a fun movie, it entertains the viewer without being heavy, cumbersome or slow. Indeed, if anything, the opposite is true: it turns out trash, at times banal and superficial.

In my opinion, explicit violence and graphic content are the spearhead of the film because it is rare to find a film cinecomic so little family friendly and so close to the spirit of the comic strip from which it was taken, of which it fully reflects the mood of its own. gloomy and to which he pays tribute with numerous quotes.

Last but not least, they kept a character much loved by the public for the finale, which bodes well for a sequel. But you really need it or, as for Hellboy: The Golden Army of Del Toro, it would be appropriate to leave the cliffhanger suspended in nothingness?