The origin of Hellboy begins when the Nazis become desperate in their war efforts. As a result, Hitler secretly turns to a mixture of science and black magic in hopes of tipping the scale of victory. After an experiment gone wrong a demon is raised from infancy after being conjured but rescued from the Nazis. Taken into the right hands, Hellboy grows up to become a defender against the things that go bump in the night.
Guillermo del Toro took the gig after his mainstream success with Blade 2. Hellboy had been a dream project for the director who faithfully battled off producers and executives from threatening the integrity of the comics. The executives originally wanted Vin Diesel to play the red beast and for it only turn demon when he was angry...ha. To quote the famous critic Adam Frazier..."That's dumb".
The movie kicks off with a bang and carries itself through its entirety with the strength and quality that all of Guillermo's films have. The director has a unique vision that carries over into most of his films. The world he creates breathes the same air as the ones in Pan's, Cronos, or even Devil's Backbone. Although the style and genre may vary between budgets and films, the world is intact.
Another thing I love about Guillermo is his ballsy mentality when incorporating CG elements with live action. The filmmaker never hesitates to add as much puppet work has he possibly can. What makes the filmmaker different is that he does not just add but actually succeeds in pulling off the delicate marriage between computers and puppets.
Ron Perlman looks AMAZING as the demon gone good. His expressions, demeanor, and wise cracks are a perfect bridge from comic to screen.
The story is maybe the weakest link to the film. Overtly simple at times then vaguely complex at others. It seems the writers valued the characters over the story and as a result the script is merely a vehicle of change.
The love triangle between Hellboy, Liz, and Myers is frustrating especially since I was viewing the extended directors cut that holds at least three more awkward date scenes between human and human torch. If I remember correctly in the theatrical release there is only the park bench sequence which works perfectly with Hellboy watching from the roof and taking advices from a 7 year old boy.
The creatures and concepts are as with all of Guillermo's ideas, completely unique and astonishing. His adaptation of Abe Sapien and Kroenen are my personal favorites.
Hellboy is a fantastical and exciting adventure that will certainly hold your attention and imagination. I highly recommend for fans of Guillermo or anyone interested in this summer's sequel. Although you may give the stink eye to some of the story elements or one liners you will know doubt enjoy the world, characters, and concepts created.