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Early Hellboy review

03.20.2004

I hadn't heard much about this film from its early test screenings (other than major raves from obvious fanboys-- no offense, but fanboys diggin' it was hopefully...a given), but here comes an early review from a reliable JoBlo source who recently witnessed HELLBOY in all of its glory (and also happens to be a Hellboy-virgin) and who, according to his positive/slight spoiler-filled review, quite enjoyed it. Incidentally, if you're one of those people who sees many early movie screenings, be sure to send them in so that we could share them with our readers. HELLBOY opens wide on April 2nd and for a cool little "Webisode" featuring director Guillermo del Toro, click here...

Here are my thoughts on Hellboy...

First of all, I've never read the comic book, so I can only comment on it from a typical moviegoer's perspective. I liked how the movie started. I'm a sucker for "Nazi occult experiments gone wrong" storylines, and this one is one of the best. It's a little bit like the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, i.e. all hell breaks loose and a bunch of people die in a fairly gruesome fashion (well, as gruesome as PG-13 gets). The scene ends with the birth of Hellboy, who apparently has a congenital preference for Baby Ruth candy bars. 

A character I really dug was the masked Nazi assassin. He reminded me a lot of the Destro character from the old G.I. cartoon series of the 1980s, except not as whiny or inept. In fact, he didn't speak at all, which is definitely a plus for sci-fi/action movie characters. Actually, the dialogue in this one is pretty good for an action flick. Although there were some lines that made me cringe a little, the dialogue wasn't painful. I felt Del Toro showed an admirable sense of restraint with the dialogue.

The CGI is great. I hate when people criticize CGI for being too cartoonish or unrealistic. We're talking about freakin' demons, for chrissakes. They looked great. The only thing I didn't like was all the damn tentacles. Why does it seem like every monster/alien/demon has to have millions of slimy tentacles? Man, I hate tentacles. About halfway through the film, they toss out the interesting Nazi/occult stuff and focus on the action. That's when I started to lose interest. I would have preferred more brains, less tentacles. But that's just me.

Ron Perlman is great. He's got that huge jawline that seems to suit the character perfectly. All of the other characters are basically one dimensional, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I hate it when writers
try to throw in bullshit to try to make a character more "complex", like a drinking problem or a troubled past. There's no room for that in Hellboy, what with all of the tentacles and everything. Niles Crane (aka David Hyde Pierce) does the voice for Mer-man "Abe" Sapien. I always liked the Niles character, but it's a little odd seeing him in the sea creature suit. 

That's about it.  Ultimately I liked it, though I was a bit underwhelmed at the end.

Source: JoBlo.comCHUD
Tags: Hollywood

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