I just want to get something straight in my head here for a minute, please stand by, normal service will be resumed shortly.
You are in a situation whereby you have a multi-Oscar winning writer and director, that being the fantastic Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape Of Water“, “Hellboy (2004)”) and a Golden Globe winner in Ron Perlman (“Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them“, “Hellboy (2004)”), both saying that they would like to continue what del Toro has started and complete the Hellboy trilogy with number three.
Perlman spends four-hours in make-up to become Hellboy again for the make-a-wish foundation, Del Toro is moved by this and asks fans on Twitter if they’d like another movie, the result is an overwhelming yes.
A meeting apparently takes place between del Toro and Mike Mignola, the creator of Hellboy in graphic novel form, but this goes nowhere.
Fast-forward a few years and rumours begin to circulate that a third Hellboy film is on the way. Though it’s not number three, it’s a reboot, so we’re back to one, and neither del Toro nor Perlman will be involved.
Instead we get writer Andrew Cosby, who has written three episodes of Haunted for TV and three episodes of A Town Called Eureka, also for TV, and director Neil Marshall, the guy who brought us Dog Soldiers, The Descent and Doomsday, to name a few, but hasn’t directed a movie in nine years as he’s been doing bits of TV.
This brings us right up to speed with Hellboy (2019), this two-hour, completely unnecessary, unwanted and, from what I can see after watching it, pointless reboot of a film series that still has a cult following.
Taking the horns from Perlman is David Harbour (“Black Mass“, “Stranger Things (TV)”) and from the late, great John Hurt, we have Ian McShane (“John Wick 2“, “Jawbone“), with Milla Jovovich (“Resident Evil: The Final Chapter“, “The Three Musketeers”) as the evil Blood Queen.
The story of Hellboy is, for reasons I can’t grasp, told again: Nazi’s, summoning evil, Hellboy turns up, McShane decides not to kill him but keep him and forms the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD), yada-yada-yada, seen it all before.
Jovovich spends most of the film in bits, I mean, literally in bits as a human-esq, hog, thing, voiced in his very best scouse accent by Stephen Graham (“Pirates Of The Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge“, “Boardwalk Empire (TV)”), travels around the UK finding her bits and putting her back together again.
Sasha Lane (“The Miseducation Of Cameron Post“, “American Honey”) joins the group (despite the comic book character she portrays being an Irish red-headed girl) and does a bloody good British accent, as does Daniel Dae Kim (“Lost (TV)”, “Hawaii Five-O (TV)”), who sounds more English than anyone.
There are big set pieces, plenty of blood and body-parts, demons, monsters in general, some magic, there’s probably a story in there too though, good luck making any sense of that or, if you do, good luck understanding it.
Hellboy (2019) isn’t great. It’s not just that it isn’t as good as Hellboy (2004), or even Hellboy II: The Golden Army, it’s just not a very good film. It makes no-sense, characters talk about events and people as if we’ve seen those things happen (we haven’t), though sometimes we do much later, and sometimes we don’t.
I don’t get it. I don’t get why it exists and I don’t get the movie now that it does exist. I can also tell you that Pendle Hill, which features heavily in the film, looks nothing like that. I can tell you that as I live about five miles away from it.