Hellboy (2004)

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I expected this to be a lot better than it was.

The biggest problem is that everyone who isn’t Ron Perlman or John Hurt is just complete garbage at acting. Every other performance is just so absolutely awful, it’s hard to comprehend how anyone was cast in this film. Selma Blair and Rupert Evans are the worst, but they’re not alone.

The plot of Hellboy is muddled and, to be honest, mostly uninteresting. I haven’t read the comics, and perhaps that is the reason for my ambivalence.

The soundtrack in this film is incredibly strange. None of the music matches the tone of the accompanying scene.

Speaking of tone – it’s all over the place. For instance, Hellboy (Ron Perlman) creeping on Liz (Selma Blair) is paired with the scene of Trevor’s (John Hurt) murder. I assume there is supposed to be some meaningful juxtaposition happening, but it’s just awkward and ineffectual.

The action in Hellboy is also just weird. Nothing seems to carry any weight. Characters fly through walls and windows and buildings, but the viewer never experiences any sense of gravity or solidity. I realize that Hellboy is not meant to be a hyper-realistic film, but this just causes the fight sequences to be silly and boring.

I decided to watch the two existing Hellboy films to prepare for the new one next year. I’m hoping that the series improves from this initial effort, because it was quite disappointing.

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