Hellboy (2004)

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When the Nazis open a portal to Hell, a baby demon comes through and is brought up by a kindly scientist to become the point man for a US government backed supernatural strike team.

Hellboy is a stylish comic book adaptation from Guillermo Del Toro starring the often criminally overlooked Ron Perlman. Del Toro’s trademark visual panache is in full effect, the film being fantastic to look at with some excellent production design. The script unfortunately doesn’t quite live up to the visuals; the one-liners are rather weak and the villain Rasputin failed to capture my imagination. Its main flaw however lies in my inability to relate to a character so divorced from reality; my favourite scene is when Hellboy is acting like a jealous teenager on a rooftop and I would’ve liked to have seen more of his “human” side. There are some nice turns from the supporting cast including Jeffrey Tambor and John Hurt but as a whole it’s a little difficult to care what happens because you never really connect with any of the characters and the story is just a hotchpotch of supernatural set pieces and hokey mythology.

Hellboy is a very, very pretty film with a few interesting ideas, but it unfortunately fails to draw the audience into its fantastical world.

5.5/10

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