Director: Guillermo Del Toro.
Based on the Mike Mignola comic book of the same name.
Starring: Ladislav Beran (Kroenen), Selma Blair (Liz Sherman), Rupert Evans (Agent John Myers), Bridget Hodson (Ilsa), John Hurt (Prof. "Broom"), Doug Jones (Abe Sapien), Corey Johnson (Agent Clay), Ron Perlman (Hellboy/Anung-un-Rama), Karel Roden (Rasputin), Brian Steele (Sammael), Jeffrey Tambor (Tom Manning), Kevin Trainor (Young Prof. "Broom").
Late in World War II the Nazis, in a desperate attempt to change the course of the war, conduct a ritual to bring forth a demon from hell that will bring about the end of the world and a new Eden. U.S. soldiers interrupt the ceremony and the demon is instead brought up by a professor of the paranormal as a monster fighter (along with others of unique backgrounds and gifts). Sixty years later, those who birthed Hellboy are back for him and the end of the world.
I loved this movie! Loved it! For anyone who is interested in history and cultural mythology and believes that movies, to some extent, are the telling of old tales in new ways (and some will become tomorrow’s myths), "Hellboy" will definitely keep that belief alive. Not to mention it's simply just one exciting damn fine fun kick *ss movie! There is not a weak performance (onscreen by actors or offscreen by crew) in this film. You do not have to be a fan of the comic to enjoy this movie. It’s fantastic storytelling mix of family devotion, burgeoning love, acceptance of personal power, overcoming prejudice, sacrifice, with action, comedy, horror, comic book stylized evil and one of the eeriest bad guys ever to weld a knife, as well as one of the most intense (and well dressed) villains to ever threaten the earth.
Ron Perlman has the lead and, as in the past, gives the excellent magic of make up artist Rick Baker life. He takes what would be for most actors stifling full make up and a weighty cumbersome costume and gives the audience a being with the flesh of a demon, the voice of a dark angel, the attitude of a blue collar worker, the humor of a college student, the mind of a professor, the heart of a young man in love, and the soul of a human being.
Favorite line: "There are things that go bump in the night Agent Myers, make no mistake about that, and we are the ones who bump back."
Favorite line spoken by Ron Perlman (a lot): "Awe, crap."
I highly recommend getting both the 2 DVD special edition and the 3 DVD director's cut if only for the different commentaries that director Guillermo Del Toro does for each version (he’ll get Best Director/Picture Oscars one day, right along with Best Screenplay, and there should also be a new category created due to his inspiration: Best Commentary).
First published in 2004 on The Perlman Pages.