Starring: Ron Perlman, John Hurt, Selma Blair
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
The conversation that lead to me watching Hellboy Sunday afternoon, held Friday afternoon at approximately 3:00 P.M. EST (JG = me; JP = my friend John P-Quad):
JG: We need to party this weekend.
JP: We should see Dark Knight.
JG: Ah, I already made plans to see that with someone else.
JP: Fuck. Would you want to see Hellboy 2?
JG: I never saw Hellboy 1.
JP: Come over to my house Sunday and watch it. Then we can go see Hellboy 2.
I didn’t end up going with John to see Hellboy 2 because I didn’t think Hellboy 1 was all that great. The idea was awesome, but the execution was lacking. I’m all about Nazis attempting to exploit the occult for their own personal and political gain; I’m also all about Rasputin conjuring up tons of evil and seducing Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS. I can also get down on the idea of orphaned demon Hellboy being raised by the U.S. government and having a Bigfoot / Roswell-type mystique surrounding his alleged existence. Hell, I’ll even take that gill monster who plays with a Rubik’s Cube and has David Hyde Pierce’s voice.
However, something just wasn’t coming together in this flick for me. I think the biggest problem was that every villain in Hellboy was set up to be invincible / immortal / invulnerable, so it was like what’s the point of even fighting them? They each die at least once and then magically come back to life or lay eggs somewhere or regenerate or whatever. I don’t know, maybe I missed something, but I’m not sure what it was exactly that Hellboy did at the end of the movie that finally offed Rasputin, the Nazis, and the slew of trans-dimensional creatures they brought to the surface of Earth once and for all. I know at one point his FBI partner handed him a grenade belt that wasn’t working; a minute later, Hellboy shoved the belt down a monster’s throat and it magically blew up. I guess that’s the power of the Devil for you.
At least it was good to see Selma Blair working. She played Hellboy’s pyrokinetic love interest. Jeffrey Tambor had a couple of good scenes as the stuffy FBI director who disagreed with Hellboy’s loose cannon ways. I can think of worse movies to watch on a Sunday afternoon.
Final grade: two and a half mask-wearing Nazi scientists (out of four).
Man, I really need to come up with my own unique unit of measurement for these reviews. I’ll get right on that.