Hellboy is a film that takes me back to my early teenage years. I think I saw it for the first time when I was 14 years old, and I unequivocally fell in love. Directed by superstar Guillermo del Toro, Hellboy, released in 2004, is a glorified creature feature at heart. Fans of del Toro’s work will recognize his distinctive dark visual style, and the use of imaginative, unique creatures to populate his dense and well-realized worlds.
The casting is what sets the film above the vast majority of its contemporaries. The one-and-only Ron Perlman brings an undeniable charisma to the role of Hellboy, which the film as a whole would have suffered greatly without. Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development) likewise gives a flawless performance as the grumpy, exasperated head of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense.
The film tells the story of the title character, Hellboy, a demon whose original purpose is to bring about the apocalypse, as he secretly hunts down and kills supernatural threats. When a Nazi occultist and resurrected Russian sorcerer Grigori Rasputin plot to awaken the seven gods of chaos, Hellboy and his fellow supernatural cohorts must save the day. If the plot sounds absurd, thats because it is, but don’t let that discourage you from checking it out. Del Toro knows how to handle his superheroes, and as a result, Hellboy is a amazingly fun thrill ride from beginning to end.
Rating: 4 out of 5