Boy, he is at it again (Reviews)

Deepa Gahlot
Friday, 12 April 2019

Language: English
Director: Neil Marshall
Starring: David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Sasha Lane
Showing at: Cinepolis, CityPride, E-Square Carnival, Inox and others 
Rating: ***

Anyone attempting to follow Guillermo Del Toro’s 2004 Hellboy (he also made the 2008 sequel) should ask, first if they can top it and then, does the world need another Hellboy movie? The answer to both questions, in this case, would be No!

Still, Mike Mignolia’s Dark Horse comics series has its fans, and that perhaps drove a third film, but with Nick Marshall taking over as director and David Harbour replacing Ron Perlman as the superhero. The fantasy series has the usual good vs evil plot to hang all those overblown CGI action sequences.

The plot is some gobbledygook about a Blood Queen Nimue (Milla Jovovich), who has to be put together from her body parts scattered by King Arthur. And once that is done, she turns into a mighty problem for humans. She wants to tap on Hellboy’s dark side and get him on her side.

With all the frenzied mayhem going on, the film is, unfortunately not much fun, and the creatures running around look quite horrendous. Even the wisecracking Hellboy is severely short on charm—but with that face and lumbering body, who could blame him?

Those who are not familiar with Arthurian lore and the Hellboy mythology would probably be puzzled by the goings on, that zig-zag crazily over time spans, and include vampires, witches, zombies, trolls, a hog-like Gruagach, Hellboy’s adoptive father, Broom (who works at the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense), played by IanMcShane replacing John Hurt, a clairvoyant Alice Monaghan (Sasha Lane), a shape-shifting Japanese-American Ben Daimio (Daniel Dae Kim) and the sinister Osiris Club. All involved in a lot of slaughter and gore. Merlin, Rasputin and Baba Yaga make appearances, don’t ask how or why!
Hellboy is a bit too grisly for young audiences, and quite ridiculous for the older ones; still, there is an audience for films that are splashy, fast-paced and chaotic. In short, anything sufficiently escapist.

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