In 2004, Hellboy finally made his big screen debut, with Ron Perlman inhabiting the eponymous role and Guillermo del Toro writing and directing the movie. Both that and its 2008 sequel, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, received mostly positive reviews, but they weren’t huge commercial hits, and despite fans hoping for years that Hellboy III would eventually get made, it never did.
Instead, Lionsgate decided to give Hellboy the reboot treatment, but if you were hoping that this latest theatrical adventure starring Big Red comes anywhere close to being as good as its predecessors, if not better, it sounds like you’ll be disappointed. Hellboy reviews are pouring in online, and not only do many of them paint the reboot as the Dark Horse Comics character’s worse theatrical outing yet, but also as a subpar comic book movie in general.
CinemaBlend’s own Eric Eisenberg was disappointed with how Hellboy turned out, giving it 2 out of 5 stars in his review. He noted that while there are parts of the movie are handled reasonably, like certain story elements and and the look of this Hellboy, overall it’s a “messy piece of work that doesn’t seem quite sure what it wants to be or who it’s for” which especially suffers from bad one-liners and “clever” bits.
Over at Slashfilm, Josh Spiegel went many steps further in the negative direction and called Hellboy one of the worst comic book movies ever made, awarding it only a 1/10 score. Among the many adjectives Spiegel used to describe Hellboy include unpleasant, dreadful, obnoxious, unnecessary and interminable. In his opinion, both Hellboy’s humor and action fail to hit properly, and David Harbour fails to shine as the heroic demon.
Nerdist’s Kyle Anderson was kinder towards Hellboy, giving it a 3 out of 5 score. He acknowledged that since he was already a fan of the Hellboy comics, he was satisfied with much of what he saw, but people unfamiliar with this mythos might not feel the same way. That said, the movie’s faithfulness to the source material ends up being a burden with regard to looking like a unique/special product.
Leigh Monson from Birth.Movies.Death. was among those “disappointed” by Hellboy, taking issue with its convoluted plot, unlikable characters, “haphazard” editing and more. The entire product is filled with “strange, dumb-as-rocks” creative choices that ultimately form with the “inherent weirdness” of the source material to create a kind of “bizarro charm.”
io9’s Charles Pulliam-Moore felt that Hellboy was a “textbook example” of the kind of movie where, when watching it, you can pick up on “echoes” of what it was intended to be earlier in the production process. In its final form, though, Hellboy plays as more of a ‘greatest hits’ from the Hellboy comics that uses its R-rating not for proper scares, but “excessive amounts of gratuitous bloodshed.”
Finally, John DeFore from The Hollywood Reporter acknowledged that while the broad strokes of Andrew Cosby’s Hellboy script fit pretty well with the universe Mike Mignola created, there are too many action sequences, its characters are uninteresting and the design of Hellboy himself is questionable.
These are just some of the Hellboy reviews making the rounds, so feel free to browse around other corners of the internet to see what other people have to say. Still, it doesn’t look like this movie will go down as a critical darling, and if its performance at the box office reflects this mediocre response, one probably shouldn’t get their hopes up of the reboot launching a new film series. In any case, if you’re not interested in checking out Hellboy, you can still get your comic book movie fix this month by checking out Shazam! and/or waiting for Avengers: Endgame.
You can judge Hellboy for yourself starting this Friday, April 12. Those of you interested in learning what other movies are coming out later this year can look through our 2019 release schedule.
Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Thank you for signing up to CinemaBlend. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.