Movie Plot – Hellboy: A demon, raised from childhood after being conjured and saved from the Nazis, grows up to be a defender against the forces of darkness.

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Writers: Guillermo del Toro, Peter Briggs
Cast: Ron Perlman, Doug Jones, Selma Blair, John Hurt, Karel Roden, Rupert Evans

Since the year 2000 …

Since the year 2000, however, there seems to be no stopping them: Spider-Man, X-Men, Hulk and The Fantastic Four, with or without sequels. It’s true that we have a lot more now, yet it didn’t occur to me that it was already on the rise back then. Thanks to my Fantasy Movie Watchlist, however, I’m coming to the realization that comic book fans were spoiled already back then. Today, it’s still hard to keep up with everything in conjunction with the TV shows. Even I don’t watch every TV show. For movies, however, I do try to see them all.

In 2004, many of us got introduced to Hellboy. His origin begins as World War II draws to a close. In a final attempt to turn the tide, the Nazis resort to black magic. Aided by the infamous Rasputin, they open a portal to “beyond,” in order to lure a monstrous monstrosity from Hell that will defeat their enemies.

The Allies manage to disrupt this ceremony, kill the Nazis and prevent the arrival of the Hellspawn, but not before a small red ape-like creature has been able to make the transition. Young scientist Trevor Bruttenholm manages to lure the frightened but mostly hungry, creature with a few Baby Ruth bars and takes it under his wing. He lovingly names the creature “Hellboy.”

Sixty years after Hellboy’s discovery

Professor Bruttenholm is head of a secret FBI department that fights against demonic interference in our world. His “son” Hellboy, meanwhile, has grown quite large. With the assistance of the telepathic merman Abe Sapien, he uses his special powers for good. When Rasputin returns to finish the job, Hellboy, assisted by the young, idealistic FBI agent John Myers, must stop him.

Hellboy is, to this day, somewhat unappreciated. Perhaps people feel this is a story that does not excel in originality and, at first glance, seems only fit for a bland B-movie. Yet this comic-book film adaptation stands out above most of its genre peers, especially for its time. The only downside is the special effects that really feel outdated.

On top of that, Guillermo Del Toro is no stranger to superhero movies. For example, with Blade II he also showed that sequels could be fun. Thus, Guillermo Del Toro delivers another top-notch directorial effort with Hellboy. It is an exciting, compelling action film, where you can hardly help but sympathize with the moody hero.

Ron Perlman’s Hellboy

The role of Hellboy is portrayed particularly convincingly by Perlman. You would almost think that Mike Mignola drew his comics while Perlman was walking around his studio. Constantly searching for his identity and his place between good and evil, Hellboy has his horns broken off. The stumps are touched up every day with a grinder. His new partner is an inexperienced, idealistic rookie. His sweetheart has a highly combustible temperament and therefore wants some time to herself. No wonder he walks around with a chronic bad temper. The wisecracks and corkscrew one-liners is what can make him so great. They give the film a healthy dose of humor without degrading it to a parody.

Did you know that the studio initially wanted Vin Diesel for the role? However, Guillermo Del Toro was against this choice and stuck to his proposal: Ron Perlman. And thank god, he did, as I can’t imagine Vin Diesel in this role. My gut feeling tells me that Ron Perlman was the best-suited man for this role. If it weren’t for him, I probably wouldn’t have liked this movie as much.

The movie is far from being perfect as the romance doesn’t really do it for me. I didn’t care for Liz at all and her relationship with Hellboy. That’s a real bummer as the movie tries to give us a love story between them that just feels flat.

Conclusion

Hellboy is not perfect as I would have changed some things, but I enjoyed watching it. On top of that, Ron Perlman was an excellent casting choice as he brought this character as it’s supposed to be.