The Flick Chicks

Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

Hellboy

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Judy Thorburn

Hellboy

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Flick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha ChemplavilFlick Chicks Chick-O-Meter The Flick Chicks, film, video, movie reviews, critics, Judy Thorburn, Victoria Alexander, Polly Peluso, Shannon Onstot, Jacqueline Monahan, Tasha Chemplavil

“HELLBOY” - SEEING ‘RED’ IS A GOOD THING

If there is one good thing to say about those Nazis, it is that they sure make good movie villains. It worked for Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first Indiana Jones installment. So now we can add the fantasy action adventure, Hellboy to the list of Hollywood films that makes use of that evil menace to create a powerful threat of Armageddon.

Based on the Dark Horse comic book series of the same name, Hellboy opens in 1944 where the Nazi’s, known to combine science with black magic, are in cahoots with Rasputin (Karel Roden) to open the portal to the gates of Hell, where the Seven Gods of Chaos are waiting to reclaim the earth.  The Nazi’s hoped to use the demons to destroy their enemies so that a new Eden will arise.  However, American soldiers, led by an expert in the occult, Professor Bloom (Kevin Trainor), arrive just in time to save the day, but not before a devil child slips through.   Rescued by the professor, the cute little demon is named Hellboy, and is taken back to a secret government agency, the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense in New Jersey, where despite his evil origin, Bloom (older version played by John Hurt) raises him like a son, and helps develop his powers to fight the forces of evil, wherever they should pop up.

Fast forward to the present, and Hellboy nicknamed Red, is now a grownup, red skinned, cigar smoking, seven foot tall superhunk with a samurai hairdo, long prehensile tail, oversized cement arm and horns that he files down to stumps to fit in. Although now sixty years in age, he looks much younger and acts like twenty something which is reflected in his living quarters where it’s plain to see he has a penchant for lifting weights, ingesting large amounts of pizza and beer and, get this, an unlikely fondness for cuddly little kittens. But, he is not the only paranormal being residing at the BPRD.  A sensitive, blue skinned aquaman creature with psychic abilities, Abe Sapien, (embodied by Doug Jones, voiced by David Hyde Pierce) so named because he was discovered the same day Lincoln was assassinated, lives in a water chamber nearby and is fed his favorite delicacy, rotten eggs.  Yes, he is often referred to as “Blue” for short - no need to explain why. I was fascinated by this beautiful specimen and disappointed that he wasn’t given enough screen time. The makeup job for both he and Hellboy is fantastic and should be remembered come next Oscar time.

To complete the cast of good guy freaks is Hellboy’s object of affection, the troubled Liz Sherman (Selma Blair). She’s a pyro-kinetic who spent years at the facility after causing her parents death as a result of her uncontrolled fire starting ability, one that turns her into a human torch whenever her temper is flared.  All three misfits are enlisted to combat the return of Rasputin, along with his undead assassin, the Third Reich villian Kroenen (Ladislav Beran), who is a cross between Darth Vader and a wicked Edward Scissorhands with swordlike blade weapons that protrude from his hands, and the tentacled Sammael hellhounds, monsters capable of replicating themselves, that have been unleashed once again.

Mexican Director Guillermo del Toro (Blade II, Mimic), a self proclaimed Hellboy comic book addict was filled with enthusiasm in bringing Mike Mignola’s comic book creation to life on screen, while keeping the spirit intact. Experience in this genre is a plus and it shows.  He exceeded with his vision in a representation that is well crafted and stylishly executed.  Del Toro delivers a vibrant, colorful comic book universe bursting with great CGI effects, and striking sets within a cool story that’s peppered with a sense of humor.

As for casting, Ron Perlman is ideal. He projects very human emotions and inner conflict of unhappily being stuck in the beastly skin he was born into, a role reminiscent of the Beast in TV’s cult hit of some years back, Beauty and the Beast.  Here, he is the “star detective” for the Bureau, where he goes about his business like a fearless big bug exterminator, with a dry wit and super cool attitude.  That unique combination of monstrous outer layer, sensitive inner soul and wisecracking demeanor comes across as very entertaining and charming. It is no more evident then when it comes to the schoolboy crush the big red guy has on Liz. Seeing how he reacts when young FBI recruit John Myers (Rupert Evans) makes a move for the girl is a hoot. Selma, on the other hand plays Liz, the love stricken boy from hell’s dream girl, as a boring, bland and sullen beauty.  However, Perlman has such a strong presence that he carries the film, and he brings so much to Hellboy that I look forward to a sequel.

Hellboy is also laced with religious Christian artifacts and symbolism to convey an underlying moral message about the choice between good and evil.  I guess when you are dealing with the dark places where evil resides, it’s nice to know you have one helluva superhero on your side. That said, I recommend Hellboy for the pure fun, lots of action and heart and of course, Ron Perlman.  Hellboy is a guilt free pleasure, where for once - seeing “Red” is a very good thing.