Brace yourself for two hours of gore as David Harbour (Stranger Things) takes on the flaming mantle in Hellboy in the reboot based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola. This action-packed movie gives viewers a lot of mythology to unpack while also trying to introduce many new characters.
Harbour’s portrayal of this crimson demon fighter is not dissimilar to Ron Perlman’s in the 2004 film of the same name. Hellboy’s sarcastic attitude and general impatience are synonymous with the horned character, giving viewers a familiar feel while allowing Harbour to make the character his own. It’s hard not to compare the films, the original felt obviously comedic, this version straddles the line with seriousness. And the storyline may be seen as overly complex – in addition to the canonical backstory involving Nazis, Hellboy is infused with a classic tale of Arthur and Camelot, mixed with other lores including Baba Yaga, the Gruagach (or Brownie), and of course Lucifer himself – but the plot points all come to a head in the end, pulling the threads of the story together.
Highlights of the movie include Habour’s impressive prosthetics, as well as the interesting, if not underutilized, supporting characters like Major Ben Daimio (Daniel Day Kim) and Alice Monaghan (Sasha Lane). For a two hour feature, there are plenty of alternative routes the final product could have taken, but the outcome was a gory monster-fest with action, humor, and even a bit of heart.
Hellboy hits theaters April 15th and is Rated R.
— Yael Tygiel