out of 4
All-Reviews.com Movie/Video Review
|*Also starring: ||Doug Jones, John Hurt, Rupert Evans, Corey Johnson, Karel Roden, Brian Caspe, James Babson, Biddy Hodson, Jeffrey Tambor, Santiago Segura||
Review by Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4
Egad! It's April and the monster-mash comic-book movies have already
burst into bloom. Six comic book adaptations are scheduled for release this
year, including "The Punisher," "Catwoman," "Spider-Man 2," "Man-Thing" and
"Blade: Trinity." Let's start with "Hellboy."
According to Mike Mignola's Dark Horse Comics, Hellboy (Ron Perlman) was
born as the spawn of Satan 60 years ago, during World War II. He was brought to
Earth by the maniacal monk Grigori Rasputin (Karel Roden). Destined to be a
harbinger of the apocalypse, Hellboy was rescued by Professor Trevor Broom
(John Hurt), founder of the FBI's secret B.P.R.D. (Bureau for Paranormal
Research and Defense), who raised him like a son, nurtured his super-hero gifts
and convinced him to join the good guys against Rasputin, whose evil warriors
include Hitler's assassin Kroenen (Ladislav Beran) and the indestructible
Sammael (Brian Steele). While Hellboy is fond of cats and chocolate bars, he's
cared for by a conflicted new recruit, Agent John Myer (Rupert Evans), and his
cohorts include a telepathic amphibian, Abe Sapien (Doug Jones, using David
Hyde Pierce's voice), and a troubled pyrokinetic, Liz Sherman (Selma Blair).
Combining CG with matte paintings, models and animatronics,
writer/director Guillermo del Toro fosters the fun and ingenuity that fuel this
often-confusing horror fantasy. There are cinematic influences from "X-Men,"
"The X-Files," "Star Wars" and Ron Perlman's own "Beauty and the Beast" TV
series. Yet it's Perlman who steals the show, evoking the humanity and humor
beneath the leathery prosthetics and grungy appendages. On the Granger Movie
Gauge of 1 to 10, "Hellboy" is a grotesque, violent, demonic 7 - for its target
audience. Expect a sequel.
Copyright © 2004 Susan Granger
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