They say if you mess with the devil, you get the horns. “Hellboy” is set to hit all cinemas from 11th April 2019 onwards!

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A classic that most of us grew up watching, the 3rd instalment in the series got a fresh new reboot; with a spanking new director, cast and even universe! So if you’re sweating that you haven’t watched the previous 2 films before, don’t worry, just know that our favourite red hunk would be glad to see you!

A reboot of “Hellboy” alone seems like an ambitious task. With legendary director Guillermo del Toro paving the way with his wonderfully woeful take on the original 2004 series, there were undoubtedly big shoes to fill.

However, this reboot brings new things into consideration, with David Harbour taking on the titular role — a new face since Ron Pearlman’s version of the character. The “Stranger Things” star has caused quite a buzz since accepting the role; and we’re curious to see Sheriff Hopper’s crimson transformation!

Here are some of the hits and misses we took away from the new flick.

*PS: This review is not spoiler free! Be warned before you take a gander.

The movie takes inspiration from the comics

Director Neil Marshall was very hell bent (pun intended!) on staying true to the comics so we get to see “Hellboy” with some accuracy to the books! In this film, we get to see more ‘boy’ of Hellboy; as the movie opens at a wrestling ring in Mexico.

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Touching on the “Hellboy in Mexico” arc, the movie gives us a bit of a background on Hellboy’s earlier years and personality. Who knew he’s a fan of the fiesty Lucha Libre or loved downing some good ol’ tequila?

An action, packed blockbuster. Oh, and did we mention the gore? Lots. Of. It.

For fans of action movies, this will be exactly what you signed up for. From start to finish, we see amazing fight scenes done with impressive effects and stunts. Definitely something you’d want to catch on the cinemas! This reboot is also just absolutely disgusting — in the best way possible.

Director Neil Marshall was serious when he mentioned that they were going all out with this one. It’s rated R for a reason, folks! Not skimping out on the blood, you’ll get to see every single drop; from regular human’s blood to boiling hot magical giant’s vital fluids. What better way to experience the adrenaline of the moment than to witness it all in the glory of the big screen?

If that’s not your thing….

However it must be said that if action flicks just aren’t up your alley, you will have a tough time trying to appreciate this film. Most of the appeal of the Hellboy reboot is most definitely in its stunts, special effects and grossly gorey scenes; and if that’s not something you’d enjoy then you might want to change your mind.

The reboot carries none of the class and mystery that the original 2004 version had, and naturally, none of the del Toro’s touch of darkness either.  In retrospect, it almost feels like a cheap Hollywood sell-out when compared to its predecessor. 

New characters!

The reboot featured a brand new cast, with Daniel Dae Kim taking on the role of Ben Daimio and Sasha Lane playing Alice Monaghan. It was refreshing to see Hellboy having a sidekick that was not a romantic interest for once!

It was great to see their dynamics without the typical need to conform to Hollywood’s expectation, especially as the age gaps between the characters immediately established the platonic factor of their relationships. It was also pleasant to see the representation of diversity among the cast.

Feels a bit drastic of a change for some…

One thing that has always been a heart-warming moment in “Hellboy” was his relationship with his father. So it was rather jarring to see the sharp shift in character of Professor Broom (played by Ian McShane), who is now a distant,cold — and well, frankly, terrible — father.

There was always a strong familial bond between the two, but now that seems to be severed as the reboot depicts Hellboy as an estranged, angsty teenager almost — as he desperately tries to get Daddy’s attention and validation.

Tribute to olden folklores and childhood fairy tales

It was nice to see the director giving nods in terms of lores as the movie features mythical creatures such as faeiries and changelings; who’d sneak into the homes of newlyweds and replace their babies with a lookalike instead.

If parents weren’t quick enough to notice the swap, faeries will keep the child and take them into the other Realm forever. There was also a reference to Baba Yaga, a disfigured and deformed witch who lives in a house that seems to have legs of a chicken.

While her home may sound cosy and inviting to strangers who have lost their way in the woods, make no mistake as she will definitely prey on you — especially if you’re a child — and have you for dinner!

Feels a bit rushed and all over the place

While it was fascinating to see how the entire plot of the movie tied up to the very beginnings of time in England — with the whole Merlin and King Arthur arc, and the introduction of Nemue (played by Mila Jovovich) — there’s just no denying how messy the whole thing felt.

In theory, it does make sense and add up but the execution done for it however, could be said otherwise. Perhaps tied up with the blockbuster action bit of it, it felt a bit try-hard to come off as somewhat ‘intelligent’ and ‘more than just an action flick’ but we strongly felt otherwise. The pacing was rather off, and the constant jumping of places (which was addressed every time in bold Bebas text) honestly just gave us a headache.

Overall, the 2019 reboot of “Hellboy” is not a bad a film. Considering all the humour of the script, the character dynamics and action packed fight scenes; it’s a solid blockbuster. The main issue that we seem to have with it is that it is just that… nothing more than just another action film.

If you were to stamp this with a “Marvel” or “DC” logo, it wouldn’t be any different than another action flick. Del Toro’s “Hellboy” was such a masterpiece because of artistic manner in which it was told. It was all in the little details, the small things that would send your skin crawling at the mere thought of it.

Despite having 15 years apart, the original “Hellboy” still has visual effects that carry the story with more caliber and class than the modern remake did. Then again, perhaps this was exactly what Director Neil Marshall wanted; to make “Hellboy” feel like your relatable, everyday superhero… but maybe minus the horns.

Article by Leyasheena Panicker

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