Director: Neil Marshall
Cast: David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane
Release Date: July 23, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Hellboy is back, and he’s on fire. From the pages of Mike Mignola’s seminal work, this action-packed story sees the legendary half-demon superhero (David Harbour) called to the English countryside to battle a trio of rampaging giants. There he discovers The Blood Queen, Nimue (Milla Jovovich), a resurrected ancient sorceress thirsting to avenge a past betrayal. Suddenly caught in a clash between the supernatural and the human, Hellboy is now hell-bent on stopping Nimue without triggering the end of the world.
Welcome back to the world of our most unlikely hero in this new, more faithful take on the popular Dark Horse Comic series. The new ‘Hellboy’ film follows our evil fighting, half-demon superhero Hellboy (Harbour) who is called upon to assist in confronting a group of terrifying giants. But when an ancient evil known as the Blood Queen (Jovavich) unlike anything he’s ever encountered is resurrected from her timeless prison and begins taking steps to overtake the world with a deadly plague, Hellboy must not only fight with all of his strength if he hopes to stop her before it’s too late, but also combat the inner demon within himself once terrifying events hint towards potential prophesized horrors that could ruin everything and everyone he cares for should he give in.
Directed by Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, Doomsday) from a screenplay by Andrew Cosby (TV’s Eureka) which was of course based upon the Dark Horse Comic Book by Mike Mignola respectively, Marshall does a wonderful job at the helm of ‘Hellboy’ guiding the film along with a fast-paced, humorous and bloody style that fits quite well. The movie also benefits from a generally solid cast which includes David Harbour (TV’s Stranger Things), Milla Jovovich (the ‘Resident Evil’ movies), Ian McShane (TV’s American Gods), Sasha Lane (American Honey), Daniel Dae Kim (TV’s Hawaii Five-0), Thomas Haden Church (Killer Joe) and more, the majority offering solid and fitting performances for the most part in each of their respective roles, and Harbour making for quite the fantastic Hellboy.
The new ‘Hellboy’ film is a wildly entertaining and blood drenched ride filled with more than enough laughs to keep things fun and fairly lighthearted throughout, while still serving up levels of noteworthy gore liable to even impress many horror fans. The fast pace and almost gothic style combined with its faithful adaption of the comics that at times is no less than panel for panel and word for word should make a welcome treat for hardcore fans. Always going nuts instead of restraining itself at the best possible times, it’s never afraid to assault the viewer with violent, blood drenched chaos and fun throughout. Even the gore that’s laden with CGI curiously manages to become a positive for a change, somehow managing to utilize the CGI overload of blood and gore in order to perfectly compliment the campy, comic-like tone that ‘Hellboy’ so fully embraces. Making for a rare instance in which the GGI approach may have just actually been the wisest and most fitting route. The film’s carefree and fun-loving, humorous attitude, combined with the more faithful approach to the source material (not to mention the direct involvement of Hellboy creator Mike Mignola himself) are only further complimented by the stylish guidance of director Neil Marshall and the solid casting of David Harbour as our lead who actually makes for quite the fantastic Hellboy. I would strongly encourage fans of the comic book as well as horror fans and anyone already at all interested in the film to make a point of trying to give it a whirl whenever convenient. It’s definitely received an unwarranted and somewhat baffling bad reputation from many critics and moviegoers, but if you’re already intrigued or a fan of the comics, it would be well worth taking the time to decide for yourself, there’s a pretty great chance that you’ll be thrilled you did.
Overall, this new and far more faithful film adaption of ‘Hellboy’ directed by Neil Marshall is a swiftly paced, humorous and insanely bloody good time from start to finish that’s well worth taking the time to check out. Fully embracing a fitting tone that’s as lighthearted and goofy as it is gothic and brutal, with David Harbour proving to be a fantastic choice to portray our titular hero. The new ‘Hellboy’ film is highly recommended for those who can appreciate what it’s trying to do (and accomplishes remarkably well at that) as well as longtime fans of the source material and/or of star David Harbour who probably won’t want to even think about missing out on this insanely fun adaption. At the absolute least it should stand a pretty solid chance of proving well worth your time and the price of rental one relaxing evening.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Hellboy’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks outstanding altogether and delivers a rich, detailed and vividly colorful presentation from start to finish, with no noticeable faults or issues to be uncovered throughout. It holds up smoothly even during the numerous darkly lit, fast moving and heavily populated sequences throughout, never causing anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a wonderful high definition video presentation that should thoroughly please fans of the movie and first time viewers alike.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack provides a smooth, clean and incredibly active audio presentation throughout. It constantly takes full advantage of all seven available channels in order to send a barrage of gunshots, explosions and other action effects, along with creatures, nature elements and plenty more consistently zipping throughout the various speakers, and never conflicting with any dialogue or other audio elements that may be occurring simultaneously. Overall, this is a pretty fantastic Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that’s a constant auditory treat, tremendously complimenting the onscreen fun while sounding great every step of the way.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Hellboy’ includes a couple great extras that fans of the new film should appreciate. Included on the release is the 3-part Making of Documentary ‘Tales of the Wild Hunt: Hellboy Returns’ (running approximately 71 minutes in length) which features an in depth look at bringing the film to life and features interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus tons of behind the scenes footage and more. We’re also treated to a few ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 8 minutes in total) and ‘Previsualizations’ for a few select scenes (approximately 7 minutes combined).