‘Hellboy’ Is a Mess. Too Bad

Not just for us, but also for the cast.

Agents of Change
3 min readNov 16, 2021


Photo credit: Shutterstock, modified

By Jon Ochiai

In Director Neil Marshall’s spirited action fantasy “Hellboy”, adoptive Father Professor Broom, played with whimsical gravitas by Ian McShane tells his Son, “I wanted you to be the best you…” David Harbour’s Hellboy, the hulking prosthetically horned, red-skinned beast, acknowledges his Father’s love in tears. No spoilers here. After all, Dad is human. Hellboy, well he’s some other distinction.

The dramatic arc resonates genuine poignancy. Yet, seems so out of context, like much of “Hellboy”. “Hellboy” often gets lost in the narrative abyss.

Based on Mike Mignola’s source material — Dark Horse Comic Book “Hellboy”, Neil and Screenwriter Andrew Cosby reboot the beloved 2004 movie starring Ron Perlman as a narrative quandary. David Harbour embodies the irreverent sense of humor and charisma in a wonderful homage to Ron Perlman’s Hero beast.

But like I told my buddy Ron, after we both watched the movie, “That was all over the place.” “Hellboy” is an unfocused mess. WTF? Too bad.

Not just for us, but also for the cast. Beautiful commanding Milla Jovovich is beguiling evil as The Blood Queen, Nimue. Hers along with David’s Hellboy inspire strong performances from feeble material.

In the prologue set in 1540 or so: Omniscient sorceress Nimue prepares to unleash her deadly plague on the world; thus, ending humankind forever. However, she’s vanquished by stalwart King Arthur, played by Mark Stanley, and sorcerer Merlin, played by Brian Gleeson. To dissipate her immense power they literally chop Nimue into pieces, foreshadowing Neil’s macabre resurrection visual, and bury her parts at the ends of the Earth.

Hellboy works for the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD) fighting the “dark forces” like Giants. He’s a superhero of sorts. He has great speed, strength, and fighting skills. He also possesses a huge mysterious metallic right hand.

Professor Broom and Hellboy work together at the BPRD. He virtually raised his son there. Returning from a mission, Broom gently grooms the horns on his son’s brow. As corny as that looks, it’s sublime. Regardless of blood, they’re family. They love each…



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