Starring: Ron Perlman, John Hurt, Selma Blair, Rupert Evans, Karel Roden, Jeffrey Tambor, Doug Jones, Brian Steele, Ladislav Beran, Biddy Hodson, Corey Johnson, Kevin Trainor, Angus MacInnes, David Hyde Pierce
Review: After being conjured by and rescued from the Nazis, a demon child is raised to become a defender against the forces of darkness. Hellboy (Ron Perlman), as he's come to be known, along with Liz Sherman (Selma Blair), Abe Sapien (Doug Jones), and Professor Broom (John Hurt) are part of the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense and fight tirelessly to keep evil at bay.
Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy is another wonderful example of how the writer-director can create unique worlds that feel real, lived in, and that are populated with interesting characters that are complex, funny, and heroic. Ron Perlman has the toughest job of all trying to convince the audience that he is indeed a half-demon, half-man that's not just a costume or makeup, but he's truly the embodiment of the comic book character, Hellboy. And he's cool, silly, and a total bad ass!
This movie is designed within an inch of its life. The costumes, sets, makeup, creatures, lighting, locations, props, everything seems unique and original, and doesn't follow the traditional "superhero" formula. From start to finish Hellboy is a feast for the eyes.
Now, I watched the Director's Cut which is approximately 10 minutes longer. I think it adds more character stuff to the mix which helps to deepen their relationships, feelings, and motivations for what happens throughout the movie. And this movie has a lot going on...
Where should we start? You have the occult, Nazis, a demon baby, the Seven Gods of Chaos, a surgical modified stormtrooper, a fishman, pyrokenesis, slimy creatures, Rasputin, a love triangle, father-son strife, the end of days, and an undeniable love of cats. This movie has it all. It's scary, charming, silly, fun, funny, action-packed, character driven, and has a goofy plot that I still don't understand completely, I think, but I love it all the same.
Hellboy is definitely not for everyone. It's a superhero movie with a darker tone, but that's the character and the comics. It's a hell of a great time!
Fun Fact: Upon meeting to discuss the movie, Hellboy creator Mike Mignola, and writer-director Guillermo del Toro decided to reveal to each other their choice for the lead role of Hellboy. They both said at the same time, Ron Perlman.