In the final days of World War II, the Nazis attempt to use black magic to aid their dying cause. The Allies raid the camp where the ceremony is taking place, but not before a demon – Hellboy – has already been conjured. Joining the Allied forces, Hellboy eventually grows to adulthood, serving the cause of good rather than evil.
Review Hellboy 2004
Review Hellboy 2004
Comic book adaptations have had a huge resurgence over the past several years, and it’s no wonder: Comics and graphic novels have been an extremely fertile medium for creative expression since the early 20th century. They continue to be a breeding ground for original storytelling. Admittedly, however, my comic knowledge is a bit lacking and I’d never even heard of Hellboy when it hit theaters four years ago. So, with very little knowledge of the source material, I was surprised to find myself fascinated with the characters and scenarios portrayed in Guillermo del Toro’s exciting and fresh big-screen adaptation.
Deep into the throes of World War II, a group of allied soldiers and scientists stumble upon a battalion of occult-obsessed Nazis as they attempt to open a portal to hell. The Nazis are quickly dispatched before they can succeed at their goal. In the midst of all the action, a strange demon manages to slip through the portal and is quickly befriended by a scientist on the scene. Flash forward sixty or so years and that young demon is now Hellboy: demon hunter, cat lover and the FBI’s secret weapon against the forces of the occult. Bizarre, eh?
Well, it is bizarre, but Hellboy succeeds on almost every level. Again, not being familiar with the comic, I could have very easily been turned off by such material, but Hellboy is so straightforward and matter of fact, that what would ordinarily seem like a huge stretch of the imagination, comes across as totally believable. Well, for the most part. The film’s effects work is above average throughout and the story is expertly conveyed. I was never bored and found the subject matter constantly interesting as well as entertaining. With all the sub-par summer action filler that hits theaters on a weekly basis, it’s nice to see a film like Hellboy that succeeds in telling a good story that can appeal to the action crowd, comic book fans as well as general audiences alike.