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the pathetic caverns - movies by title - Hellboy

eclectic reviews and opinions


2004, D: Guillermo Del Toro, S: Guillermo Del Toro & Peter Briggs

Hellboy serves up a fairly appealing stew of Lovecraftian horror with Raiders of the Lost Arkish derring-do, but it lacks the caliber of dry wit that (along the with the stark black and white visuals) made Mike Mignola's comic such a standout. That's not to say that Hellboy (Ron Perlman) doesn't crack wise now and again, but the dialogue was missing some essential snap and crackle. Maybe they can get Joss Whedon to help write the sequel.

It's also a little disappointing that there's a paucity of really good monsters -- Hellboy spends most of the movie battling a bunch of identical beasties, and while they're sufficiently ravenous and gucky, some variety might have provided more visual interest.

The movie also comes up short in the area of character development, with Hellboy's pyrokinetic love interest being particularly flat -- a particular shame since the Hellboy comic is notable for its nuanced multidimensional characters.

On the other hand, Rasputin is a swell villain, as is the creepy part-mechanized Nazi assassin. Using a green FBI agent as the viewpoint character is a moderately unobstreperous way to get through all the necessary exposition. And despite its flaws, it's much better overall than a great many comic book-derived movies.

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