Fans can Harbour a new Hellboy

Ross Schuette, Copy Editor

“Hellboy” hit theatres April 12, a reboot of the franchise that arrived 15 years after the first Hellboy feature film that starred Ron Perlman.

The reboot, directed by Neil Marshall, stars David Harbour (Stranger Things) as Hellboy and Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil franchise) as the antagonist Nimue, aka The Blood Witch, in a retelling of the Dark Horse Comics graphic novel. Daniel Dae Kim (Lost) also has a supporting role as gun-toting pseudo-sidekick Ben Daimio,

The film weaves the story of Nimue, a sorceress banished by King Arthur circa 500 A.D., with Hellboy’s origin as an escapee from a realm the Germans opened during World War II hoping to acquire supernatural aid for their military.

However, Hellboy was brought into safekeeping by an Englishman, Professor Broom (Ian McShane), to raise him as a son. Broom was a member of the British Paranormal Society, and he and Hellboy subsequently joined the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD), a branch of the U.S. Government to fight against forces of evil in the world.

Hellboy, who is red all over his body, has a tail, horns, and a giant stone-like hand with functioning digits, grows up sheltered in a confined upbringing by Professor Broom, but he does get to venture out to fight the bad guys as part of the BPRD. With his half-man half-demon-like appearance, Hellboy has BA written all over him, especially when he’s eating flesh wounds and spear-through-the-torso piercings for breakfast.

The film certainly delivers on action, and is edited well enough to keep a nice flow of the story. There was one hiccup where a transition style was used more than once and felt distracting for a moment, but overall the scenes are pieced together nicely.

The solid editing can’t hold up a “meh” level of cinematography. Some action scenes keep the viewer held, but the few attempts at artistic shots stand out just enough to note that they’re not amazing, but not bad.

Hellboy also capitalizes on the new trend of seeking an R-rating for comic book movies, and can follow flicks like Deadpool and Logan without having to dip its toes in gore. On top of that, some of the imagery does get pretty intense when the vividness is paired with the dark spiritual elements.

Hellboy is a decent action piece that has a nice 90s feel to it with its action and slightly cheesy, slightly cheeky dialogue. It feels fresh enough that comparisons to the 2004 forerunner don’t have to be made side-by-side — even in light of Perlman becoming a fan favorite. Some bits of dialogue and story give a nice nod of homage to the original.

Harbour is able to make the character his own though, and gives a performance that doesn’t leave viewers wishing Perlman had reprised the role.