At an archaeological dig in the ancient city of Hamunaptra, an American serving in the French Foreign Legion accidentally awakens a mummy who begins to wreck havoc as he searches for the reincarnation of his long-lost love.
At the end of World War II, Nazi officers Karl Ruprecht Kroenen (Ladislav Beran) and Ilsa Haupstein (Biddy Hodson) start an experiment to raise the forces of Hell trough Russian dark mystic Rasputin (Karel Roden) on a Scottish island, but it's interrupted by an allied commando guided by professor Trevor "Broom" Bruttenholm (Kevin Trainor). He prevents killing the human-demonic half-blood, which was accidentally created and raises this "Hellboy", while rising to head of a secret C.I.A.-linked U.S. agency Bureau of Paranormal Research, which secretly studies and uses the occult, including supernatural freaks. As "father" Broom (Sir John Hurt) is aging, he hand-picks brilliant, sensitive Agent John Myers (Rupert Evans) as new minder-companion, as regular "warrior" Agent Clay (Corey Johnson) can't empathize and lacks flexibility mental. Hellboy (Ron Perlman) is quite a handful, regularly spotted by worried civilians on unauthorized excursions, especially to pyro-telekinetic freak friend ...Written by
Abe has webbed fingers, yet in all the scenes where he is wearing gloves he looks like he has normal hands. Since he's wearing gloves. And gloves are made for human hands. See more »
Professor Trevor 'Broom' Bruttenholm:
What is it that makes a man a man? Is it his origins, the way things start? Or is it something else, something harder to describe? For me it all began in 1944, a classified mission off the coast of Scotland. The Nazis were desperate. Combining science and black magic, they intended to upset the balance of the war. I was 28, already a paranormal advisor to President Roosevelt. I could never have suspected that what would transpire that night would not only effect the course of ...
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The film title is formed from a cathedral passageway, accompanied by documents of Hellboy's sightings. See more »
The Hellboy 3-disc director's cut DVD is ten minutes longer. (132 minute director's cut versus 122 minute regular version). Restores a few deleted/extended scenes back into the movie. See more »
As far as most comic-book movies go, they usually follow the same-old path of showing us the origins of whatever hero for about 45 minutes before getting into a real (but usually superficial) plot. This can lead to a never-ending list of deadbeats such Hulk, Spider-Man and Catwoman and rarely ends up with a good movie (Batman Begins is one rare example). Guillermo Del Toro seems to make a compromise of introducing Baby Hellboy during the end of WWII and then flashing forward 60 years to adult HB (though genetically he's barely out of his 20s) working for the Government.
The Beurau of Paranormal Research uses Hellboy as a weapon against the forces of evil. Being a demon from Hell himself, but preferring to fight for the good side, HB works with Abe Sabien (a very likable sort of fish-man) and his pyro-kinetic would-be girlfriend Liz. Raised by Professor Broom (John Hurt) he regularly has fallings out with his human father and even hides his cigarette smoking from him. I find the stroppy teenager attitude a unique character quirk that works well. What's even cooler is HB fondness for cats. Which not a typical characteristic of a demon born in Hell.
The world's last living super-evil Nazis resurrect the mad-monk Grigori Rasputin and aim to bring about Armageddon by awakening sleeping Lovecraftian Gods, frozen in time at the edge of the universe. A tough job, even for HB, but it's all in a days work for the Beurau of Paranormal Research.
Del Toro works wonders in bringing to life atmospheric sets (check out the flooded subway station) and horrific creatures but stops short of making Hellboy a dark epic. The CGI is impressive and the visions of Hell are interesting but there's just some intangible element that seems to be missing and the film feels incomplete. Even the Director's Cut still feels a bit alienating.
However the action and humor is quite entertaining and the villains (especially 107-year-old, crazed assassin Kroenen) are definitely the kind you want to see die horribly. Enjoy it for what it is, even if you feel it's not entirely wholesome by the end.
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