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Posted at: Apr 12, 2019, 7:06 PM; last updated: Apr 12, 2019, 8:00 PM (IST)MOVIE REVIEW - HELLBOY

Raising hell, but where’s the fun in it?

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Film: Hellboy

  • Cast: David Harbour, Ian McShane, Milla Jovovich, Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim, Penelope Mitchell, Sophie Okonedo, Brian Gleeson, Alistair Petrie
  • Director: Neil Marshall
Raising hell, but where’s the fun in it?
A still from Hellboy

Johnson Thomas

This remake (not sequel), scripted by Andrew Cosby, based on Mike Mignola’s The Dark Horse Comic Book, goes back in time to King Arthur’s reign in 517 A.D, when he triumphed over the evil sorceress Vivienne Nimue aka Blood Queen (Milla Jovovich) at Pendle Hill using his famed sword Excalibur.  She was de-limbed and her sundered appendages were sent to five different corners of the land. Cutting back to the present, we see Hellboy (David Harbour) working with his adoptive father Professor Broom (Ian McShane) at the B.P.R.D, an organisation devoted to exterminating paranormal threats. Then Hellboy’s help is requested at the Osiris Club, England, and he soon gets embroiled in the Blood Queen’s demonic plot to resurrect herself and bring ruin upon the world.

The story has numerous threads meandering in several directions with even inconsequential supporting characters getting more than deserved screen time. The pacing is inconsistent, there’s no sense of involvement and the viewer feels taxed by the largely incoherent mess spread-eagled across the runtime.

Since Hellboy 3 couldn’t get off the ground, the studio apparently decided to reboot the series with a new lead- David Harbour (largely listless performance) taking the reins from Ron Perlman. In its attempts to stay true to the original comic book ideas, the film suffers sluggish, intemperate moments that stretch on for far too long to be fun. The narrative has some decently laid out fantastical action sequences and Marshall, given his affinity for the Game of Thrones (he directed a few episodes) style of warfare, offers quite a few enjoyable fighting sequences. Unfortunately there’s not much coherence towards the end when all the numerous plot threads get force-merged into a chaotic set-piece that looks a little too messy to be entertaining.

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