Hellboy (2019) - Rotten Tomatoes

Hellboy (2019)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Bereft of the imaginative flair that made earlier Hellboys so enjoyable, this soulless reboot suggests Dante may have left a tenth circle out of his Inferno.

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Hellboy is back, and he's on fire. From the pages of Mike Mignola's seminal work, this action packed story sees the legendary half-demon superhero (David Harbour, "Stranger Things") called to the English countryside to battle a trio of rampaging giants. There he discovers The Blood Queen, Nimue (Milla Jovovich, Resident Evil series), a resurrected ancient sorceress thirsting to avenge a past betrayal. Suddenly caught in a clash between the supernatural and the human, Hellboy is now hell-bent on stopping Nimue without triggering the end of the world.

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Cast

Milla Jovovich
as Nimue the Blood Queen
Ian McShane
as Professor Bruttenholm
Sasha Lane
as Alice Monaghan
Daniel Dae Kim
as Ben Daimio
Thomas Haden Church
as Lobster Johnson
Sophie Okonedo
as Lady Hatton
Kristina Klebe
as Leni Riefenstahl
Alistair Petrie
as Lord Adam Glaren
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Critic Reviews for Hellboy

All Critics (191) | Top Critics (37)

It ends up simply being a franchise reboot damned to be restaged as its own bloody hell. Some things are better left dead.

April 25, 2019 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

If it was my call, I'd write nothing about the movie and leave this space blank for readers' notes.

April 15, 2019 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

This all hurtles at a relentless, unforgiving pace, glued together with many, many crunchy guitar licks. You don't so much as watch this movie as submit to being pummeled by it.

April 12, 2019 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

An R-rated slog that's heavy on bad attitude and creative dismemberments, and completely missing the humane core of Mignola's original story.

April 12, 2019 | Full Review…

Watching Hellboy is my new personal idea of hell.

April 12, 2019 | Rating: 0/4 | Full Review…

No one needed another Hellboy, let alone a wretched contraption whose single-word title suggests that it's an original, rather than the cynical enterprise it proves to be.

April 12, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Hellboy

½

This brand-new adaptation wastes away its R-rating-gore-fest & efforts of David Harbour with one-dimensional characters, a damp story and corny dialogue; making us beg for a Guillermo del Toro-created Hellboy III. 1.75/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

½

This is destined to live on as a cult film. The action and camp factor are dialled up to a hardcore 11. There are so many storylines thrown into this and I hope the series can find an audience on VOD since it failed to ignite the box office. Del Toro's Hellboy was a fun mixture of fantasy and humour, but loyalty to the source material was not one of them. This Hellboy will ignite a shared universe if it can ignite. The world is established and while the film struggles to find an identity, it has the groundwork set for another sequel and B.P.R.D spinoff down the line. 22/04/2019

Brendan Nicholls
Brendan Nicholls

Super Reviewer

½

The new Hellboy reboot is utterly fascinating but in a way I doubt the filmmakers intended. The confluence of bizarre, arbitrary plotting, budget limitations, artistic self-indulgences, and tonal imbalances makes for a truly entertaining watch but for all the wrong reasons. A recent apt comparison would be the Wachowskis' 2015 shining artifact-of-hubris Jupiter Ascending, an expensive and ambitious mess that left me dumbfounded how something like that could slip through the studio system. Right from the 500 A.D. opening prologue of Hellboy I was laughing under my breath, trying valiantly to make sense of what I was watching. It played like camp, ridiculous high-end camp, but I don't think that was the intent of director Neil Marshall (The Descent) and company. I think they were going for a cocky, carefree sense of apathetic cool and wanted to have fun unleashing an adolescent fantasy of monsters, violence, and droll one-liners. Hellboy is an experience, all right. The storytelling for the 2019 Hellboy is its biggest hurdle that it cannot get over. I think ninety percent of this movie's dialogue, and storytelling in general, is expositional, and the remaining ten percent are groan-worthy quips (after kissing a gross witch, Hellboy says, "Somebody get me a mint" -- har har). Every moment is explaining the person in the scene, the stakes of the scene, the purpose of the scene, the setting of the scene, the other people in the scene, and then re-explaining one of these elements. Every single freaking scene. Every ten minutes a new character is thrown into the mix and the cycle starts anew; it feels like the screenplay is cramming for a test by the end credits. In addition to these expository present-day scenes, there are five separate flashback sequences to explain superfluous back-stories. Do we need a flashback to explain the motivation behind the pig man, who is pretty much a standard henchman? Would the audience not believe he has a grudge against Hellboy if we lacked a key flashback to set up the history between our protagonist and this unimportant side villain? Does Daimio need a flashback to showcase his military team being attacked by something vaguely mysterious? Or can he just say he was attacked and we reveal later the full extent of his were-jaguar powers? Did we need an entire segment where Hellboy travels to another dimension to tussle with the imprisoned witch Baba Yaga to find out a location? Did we need an entire Arthurian legend to set up a super special weapon that will kill our villain, or could it have been anything else? Then there are prophecies and counter-prophecies and I was exhausted by the end of these relentless two hours. It feels less like a coherent two-hour movie and more like an aborted television pilot intending to set up weekly wacky adventures and preview a larger realm of potential storytelling avenues. We even get the extended set-up for a hopeful sequel that will all most certainly never materialize. The bonkers narrative inconsistency and runaway pacing make it feel like anything can happen at any moment, but not in a good way. It makes it feel like very little onscreen legitimately matters because the next second a character could just say, "Hey, here's that thing," or, "Here's a new person that cancels out that previous thing." It feels like the internal rules of the storytelling are completely ephemeral. I kept shaking my head and shrugging my shoulders, just like the breathless inconsistency of Jupiter Ascending. I was not a fan of the original 2004 Hellboy (if I recall I cited it as one of the worst films of that year) and one major reason was just the sheer number of goofy elements that felt overwhelming to any sense of a baseline of believability for me to gravitate toward. I feel like if I were to revisit the original Hellboy I might be more charitable (I enjoyed the second film), but this 2019 edition is an even bigger culprit because it feels like nothing in any previous ten minutes matters. The screenplay is structured like one disposable video game fetch-quest after another. You can almost see the movie that Marshall and his team were aiming for, a weird hard-R action/sci-fi film with strange creatures and smarmy attitude. There are moments where you can tell a lot of fun was had designing certain ghouls and monsters, like the hell beasts unleashed that include a spike-legged monstrosity that ka-bobs people as it stomps. It's moments like that where you see the zeal of crazy creativity that must have attracted Marshall and others to this project. It's too bad there aren't enough of them. There's a sequence where Hellboy takes on a trio of giants that's filmed in a style meant to evoke one long tracking shot. It doesn't quite get there thanks to the limits of the budget's special effects to conceal the seams. This is an issue throughout the movie. The special effects can get surprisingly shoddy, especially a spirit late in the film that shockingly resembled something akin to an early 2000s PS2 game. If the budget could not adequately handle these sequences then maybe there should have been less new characters and excursions and we could have concentrated on what we had and done it better. I would almost recommend watching the new Hellboy reboot for the same reasons I would Jupiter Ascending. Nate's Grade: C

Nate Zoebl
Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer

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