Friday, April 19, 2019

Hellboy (2019)

I think, on a certain level, it might be fair to compare the Hellboy franchise to the Ghostbusters franchise.  In both cases, a movie was released.  Both movies were followed by a sequel and talk of a third movie.  However, the third installment of each morphed into a respective reboot that was met with critically negative reviews.  While I enjoyed both movies, I can see where people were coming from.  In the case of Hellboy, the transition from Part III to reboot wasn’t quite as good.  It seems to want to do both, yet doesn’t do either that well.

The movie starts with King Arthur cutting up Blood Queen Nimue.  This doesn’t kill her, so her various body parts have to be spread all over the British Isles.  Cut to the present day and she seems to have a plan to get herself back together.  This would bring about the end of civilization as we know it.  It’s thus up to Hellboy and The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense to stop her.

That’s it.  That’s all the plot review I really need.  I could say more, and believe me, I will.  But, if you want to know what the movie is about, that’s basically it.  It’s an action movie that has way too many subplots.  For instance, we get the rehash of Hellboy’s origin story.  He was a half-demon that was born and somehow summoned to Earth during the tail end of the second World War.  He’s also supposed to bring about the end of the world, which he almost does.

The problem is that the sequel part of the movie makes it seem almost like the movie is trying to distance itself from the first two movies.  Franchises have survived recasting.  I’m sure the audience would have understood that a new actor is portraying the main character.  Thus, the reboot aspect comes off as unnecessary.  You could drop the origin story and just do Part III.

Even if you did, though, there are some aspects of the plot that seem a little strange.  For instance, Hellboy is called to Britain to help the Osiris Club hunt some giants.  This serves to set up the club betraying him.  The humans hunting the giants decide to turn on Hellboy because he was supposed to be killed at birth.  Hellboy is only saved because there are actually giants in the area.  The entire subplot seemed out of place.

Many of the other subplots at least seemed to work.  I would say that they seem natural, except that we have a giant talking boar named Gruagach who took Alice Monaghan as a baby, thus giving her some paranormal abilities.  So, natural might not be the best word.    I would say that if the movie had tried to be an outright sequel, it would have worked.

It would seem that the movie will try to bring back characters from the first two movies.  The final scene before the credits has a large water-filled container labeled Ichthyo sapien.  A post-credits had me thinking that Grigory Rasputin might be coming back, although there is a character named Koschei that would be a better candidate.

I don’t know that this will be the end of the Hellboy movies, as comic books seem to be a good source for movies  The franchise could go a lot of different ways.  Plus, if the Star Trek movie franchise proven anything, it’s that a few missteps aren’t the end of the world.  It’s entirely possible that a fourth movie might do well assuming that we even get that far.

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