Oct 12, 2008

[Movies] Hellboy (2004)

Hellboy (2004)Given that I've already written a review for Hellboy II: The Golden Army, I might as well go back in time a bit to review the first movie that started this particular Hollywood franchise. It an certainly keep my busy, hehe.

To some extent, all comic books deserve movie treatment to some extent or another. Some deserve big budget Hollywood productions while others merit direct-to-video interpretations or fan-created web movies, LOL.

Hellboy was one of those comics that certainly merited pretty decent treatment and good on-screen representation. Thankfully, they did make a good attempt at bringing Hellboy to life as a film and at the same time it deserves a place on the pages of the Geeky Guide, yes?

Hellboy was Hollywood's first attempt at bringing the comic book to life. They chose a pretty good guy to do it - Ron Perlman. I say this not because he's an amazing actor - in fact he had mostly been in bit roles and providing the voices for numerous cartoons and computer games. What makes him a great pick for the role of Hellboy is pretty much how much he tried to internalize the character and tried to be authentic to the original material.

Abe Sapien (Doug Jones) from Hellboy (2004)Image via WikipediaPlus he had an interesting set of fellow actors to play off of. On on end there's Doug Jones as Abe Sapien and certainly presenting him as a rather interesting member of the ensemble. On the other hand was Selma Blair playing the role of the spunky yet uncertain Liz Sherman, although she did come off as a bit flat in many parts of the film. The you get random gems like John Hurt playing Hellboy's sort of adoptive father, Trevor "Broom" Bruttenholm. I just love John Hurt - he has mastered the voice of the elderly sage ever since his days as The Storyteller on The Jim Henson Hour. Plus his puppet dog on the show was so cute, hehe.

In terms of overall story, you can't help but feel that B-movie sense to everything given the Nazis as opponents and the somewhat cheesy dialogue. However this was in line with the original comic to some extent so it's not actually a flaw of the movie but one of its attributes of success. Of course given that, it may not feel like a great film for your average movie-goer, especially one who has not read the comic or does not have a healthy appreciation for campiness.

That's the thing with this movie - it fulfills a lot of the hopes of the comic book reading world but it certainly has a harder time with your average action movie watching person given the somewhat lackluster plot and inconsistent acting. Still, it's fairly enjoyable on its own and a good attempt at bringing this particular (anti)hero to the silver screen.

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