While many fans of the comics in the films were disappointed when Guillermo Del Toro failed to deliver us a third film to his Hellboy franchise, a reboot was the next logical step. In 2019 that’s exactly what we got. This time, directly from Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and director Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, The Decent) have given us.
In this age of remakes and reboot it’s easy to be cynical about such things. But in the case of the Hellboy franchise I think it is very well defended as a reboot. Because the franchise has such a rich mythology, specially in the comics, the Del Toro simply left it alone and wasn’t going to do anything with it. It’s exact same mistake that Warren Beatty made when he made Dick Tracy in 1990.
One thing that a lot of horror movie fans might enjoy from the new Hellboy movie as oppossed to the Del Toro films is that it actually ignores the whole superhero stereotype in some of today’s films. The previous films ahead actually focus more less on the superhero motif of Hellboy. Where is this new reboot actually focuses more on the horror and mythological elements.
David Harbour flat out as awesome as red. He gets the characterization perfect. It actually does in my opinion a much better job than Ron Perlman did. And Harbour’s performance we actually see Hellboy”s internal struggle to try and find a place in the world. In that way his version is a little bit more sympathetic, more grittier, and the kind of underdog that film fans want to root for.
This film is on also much closer to Mike Mignola’s universe. Including certain characters which make appearances besides Hellboy of course, and Professor Bruttenholm (now played by Ian McShane), it also has characters such as Alice Monaghan , Ben Daimio, even an appearance by Lobster Johnson.
This film was undoubtedly made for fans of a comic book, and such fans, myself included, were rewarded. It seems the only thing that’s really holding some back from total success, is the cynicism of people who regretted not getting a third original Hellboy film.
This film dares to be something different in this modern era of superhero films. It tried to ditch the superhero motif and present Hellboy as an all out gory horror film piece with quite a bit of humor and lots of action. Such a dark tone only helps the story.
Hopefully this film delivers us a sequel or two, because the universe set up in this one, has more action, more horror, more character development, and flat out is a good, fun movie.