Guillermo del Toro, the director of Hellboy, is often known as the master of weird monsters, crazy creatures, mysterious and fantastical worlds, as well as aliens. Those were a lot of things that he’s a master of, but he’s proven himself to be an actual auteur when it comes to the world of dark fantasy. The man has created story after story of beautiful and terrifying things, from Pan’s Labyrinth and its horrifying take on the Faun, to The Shape of Water, a love story about a deaf woman.
How to Download Hellboy (2004)
You can stream it or you can download the film from a digital store. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and make your choice. If you are interested in Guillermo del Toro’s films, check out also our reviews of Blade II, Pacific Rim, and Nightmare Alley.
The Movie Review
Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe became such a huge deal, superhero films were different. We had the Sam Raimi Spiderman films, along with the Christopher Nolan Batman films, and of course, we had Hellboy. A demonic superhero from a different dimension who protects the earth from paranormal entities and threats.
Hellboy was found as a baby by a man named Trevor Bruttenholm, who adopts him. As Hellboy grows up, he becomes a superhero who fights in the dark, hiding his identity while protecting the earth from any threats. However, a past threat from a previous life comes to haunt him. He must now band together with Abe and Liz, fellow superheroes, to save the day.
Hellboy was leagues ahead of any superhero film that was released in the 2000s, and it is still so much better than most of the superhero content coming out. Guillermo del Toro creates a story of growth and maturity, as well as showcases the feelings of alienation and depression in an artistic way.
The characters all feel and go through the same emotions, which is what makes them connect with one another, and by extension, it connects the audience with the characters.
The story progresses at a breakneck pace, things happen so fast in Hellboy that you barely have time to process the information. There is action scene after action scene, exposition after exposition, and the film constantly keeps you on your toes so you would be begging for more every single minute. Not only is the film fast-paced, but it is entertaining and thrilling, and also features a story that you can genuinely get behind.
The action sequences in this film in particular are so good, they stand out more than anything I’ve seen in ages. I remember every single action sequence in the film, and each one of them was better than the last. The production design and aesthetics in this film are out of this world, no pun intended.
The crew has created a surreal universe, where the paranormal and the normal exist in harmony. You go through many of these worlds, and you see many of the creatures and people that live within those systems. Not to mention, Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, and Doug Jones LITERALLY become their characters fully, in every sense of the word.
A lot of the credit goes to the prosthetic work and the VFX team for creating such beautiful landscapes and such beautiful characters. Moreover, they influenced a lot of the action sequences in the film as well, which is just an added bonus for those guys. In essence, not only is Hellboy a good story with great characters, but it is also a good action film that has some state-of-the-art CGI, VFX, and makeup work.
Cinematography-wise, this film nails it. The director of photography Guillermo Navarro does an outstanding job at creating a colorful world that is dark and brooding at the same time. I just wish this film had better color-grading rather than the tinted-style colors that go throughout the whole film. Meanwhile, composer Marco Beltrami creates a soundtrack to the odyssey of Hellboy. It has everything in it, from slow and somber tunes to rocky music and even actual metal music, which fits this film really well by the way.
If you want a superhero film that isn’t bloated with Easter eggs, call-outs, and callbacks to previous films, a huge line of connectivity, or isn’t downright bad, Hellboy is the one for you. This is a story that is engaging, a film that is entertaining, with characters that are lovable, and action that is spicy. Hellboy is by far one of the best action films of all time, and definitely one of the best superhero films and the entire genre.
- A fun superhero film that is out of the box.
- A super unique cast of characters, acted superbly by industry veterans.
- Phenomenal visual effects, CGI and prosthetics work. The film feels like a different dimension.
- Cinematography is artistic yet simplistic, best of both worlds.
- A brilliant soundtrack to truly engage you
- It has random cuts in editing, it feels weird and janky when you see a random jump cut.
- Tinted colors, makes it feel as if there’s a filter over the film.