This one is getting lambasted by the critics, but you can’t put any stock in that. Commoner critics have no business reviewing genre movies. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times. Ignore all the rest, then, and listen to a relevant opinion: mine. :) I love Guillermo del Toro and I loved his two HELLBOY movies, particularly the second one. I love Ron Perlman and I loved his portrayal of the character. On the other hand, I can put that aside and judge this movie on its own merits. Also I love David Harbour. I can be fair, and since most all I watch are genre movies, I’m qualified. What did I think, then? I loved it—but there’s a couple’a qualifiers.
The plot is a big ol’ mess. They tried to stuff three decades’ worth of comic book storyline into a two-hour movie. And there’s one thing the commoners are saying that I absolutely agree with: this one is strictly for the fanboys. In fact there are references in the movie, including the two after-credits scenes, that only those who’ve read the comic book will get. Strictly for the hardcore fans. I’m familiar with the narrative from the comics and even I had a hard time, at times, keeping up. And there’s so much in the way of plot that it doesn’t leave much room for any characterization outside of Hellboy himself, and his father. It’s like last year’s VENOM in that the focus is always on the central character with little development of the supporting cast. But like VENOM, HELLBOY manages to be a helluvalotta fun despite its deficiencies. The primary draw for a true Horror mark is to see Hellboy fight monsters and deliver one-liners. And the new film delivers that, big time, in bloody R-rated glory.
David Harbour is fine in the role, and if he doesn’t have Ron Perlman’s adorable little boy innocence and humor (I know I said I wasn’t going to make any comparisons, but just this one is inevitable) it’s because the script doesn’t provide him with those quieter opportunities. Instead it gives us more monster violence. And that’s just fine with me.
HELLBOY is a gooey sundae of delights for its target audience. Of *course* everybody else is gonna hate it. But we don’t really care about them, do we?