Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
David Harbour – Hellboy / Anung Un Rama
Milla Jovovich – Vivian Nimue, The Blood Queen
Ian McShane – Trevor Bruttenholm
Sasha Lane – Alice
Daniel Dae Kim – Ben
Sophie Okonedo – Lady Hatton
Alistair Petrie – Lord Adam Glaren
Surprisingly, it was hell to sit through this movie. Or maybe not surprisingly – I mean, look at the concept: a baby demon enters our world via a dimensional portal and is adopted by a scientist. That’s right – instead of sending it back to Hell or destroying it, a respectable, qualified human decides to accept a possibly dangerous otherworldly being into his life. It is probably capable of all sorts of deadly shit, but the character of Bruttenholm clearly doesn’t mind. Thus a story is conceived which spans almost two decades and results in current feature Hellboy 2019. Yes – they couldn’t have used a more imaginative title either.
I have to be honest – I detested every second of this movie. From opening credits to close, its highly unoriginal plot and absence of any sort of humour became almost unbearable. I kept an open mind and I was looking out for something – anything – to impress me, but the entire thing seemed to run like a script someone had jotted down in their notebook and then got a few actors to try out. Sudden bursts of violence were followed by quiet talky scenes where Hellboy himself discussed family woes. Confrontation between key characters were brief. And there was absolutely no entertainment from scenes which could have had a big impact given the structure of them.
Its story involving Jovovich as a medieval sorceress who unleashes a plague on England surfaced – then vanished as though the producers just couldn’t give a shit and packed up not even halfway through. Not only did it take ages for her to appear, but her presence seemed practically irrelevant when she did. Hellboy, and other characters took over the show and the Blood Queen barely got herself established. Bad show there, especially as Jovovich isn’t actually a bad performer. She was miscast in this terrible film which picked her up and chucked her in the trash.
McShane appears as Trevor Bruttenholm. And by god he’s bland. The actor seems to land roles in some big movies out there, and I honestly don’t know how. He has about as much dynamic as a pair of socks. But here he is – greasy hair and worn leathery features lording over the main character like some biology teacher who is way too big for his boots. This guy is tiresome, has nothing to add and lacks any sort of dynamic needed to entertain. Instead, McShane seems to stand there in a suit reeling off a load of obvious facts or sits in a wheely chair trying hard to replace Ernst Stavro Blofeld from the James Bond movies. He doesn’t try very hard to be (less than) average either, which is another reason why he isn’t cut out for Hollywood. Personally, I’m baffled as to how he ended up there in the first place. Piss off Ian, you’re not impressing anybody.
The main argument of Hellboy could be whether or not it’s a comedy. You have this huge ripped man-demon stomping about the place trying to take down enemies and being hunted by soldiers. And at the same time he is clearly trying to grapple with an underlying personal anguish (mostly daddy issues). All of this aggression makes it a deadly serious story where Anung Un Rama proves enough of a case study to fuel his own feature-length documentary following abandonment. But then you have the lighter side of the story whereby the leading man goes from battling to boozing when he sits in his local bar knocking back pints of beer with acquaintances. There are a few moments in this movie too where Hellboy becomes involved in comic banter; generally when he’s with Trevor. The witty conversations flow like an episode of a BBC sitcom or something, it’s slightly surreal to watch.
Right, that’s your lot. Hellboy 2019.
Worth a watch? Only if you are extremely piss-bored and you have nothing better to do. This is one for the local supermarket’s bargain bucket, it’s a dire production and the only thing going for it is its the fact it contains a mythical sort of undercurrent.