HELLBOY    -  A  Narada Film Review

  RON PERLMAN   as   
   SELMA BLAIR  as   
   Liz Sherman
   DOUG JONES   &     
   JOHN HURT  in   
Hellboy - 2004   - Guillermo Del Toro-Director   &   Lawrence Gordon - Producer
    Director Guillermo Del Toro, suffering insufferably with Movie Mogul's Syndrome, actually believed he could also do the script for HELLBOY.   A common fallacy among Hollywood's directors, thinking that multitasking beyond their limitations is somehow within their capabilities - this is also referred to as Hollywood Hubris.   It has to do with checks & balances.   For example, if the same person both directs and scripts, who is left to say, "No, this doesn't read well," ?   Del Toro is a repeat offender in this category, having scripted three of his previous, equally mediocre, modestly successful Devil flicks.   Someone send him the message.   This time around, it was impossible to determine whether all, or perhaps some of the characters were to be taken seriously, or whether all the characters were 100% cartoon.
         Special effects for HELLBOY, while 'big' were perhaps a couple of years behind the power curve.   Particularly 'phoney' were the stiff, un-lifelike facial masks for Hellboy and Abe Sapien.   Come on guys, with no less than 7 special effects companies contracted to do the smoke and mirrors, you would think the 'Halloween Mask' Era of SFX could have been left behind.   Originality?   The script was lifted - with few changes - from the video game, Return To Castle Wolfenstein, and the action more than reminiscent of Men In Black and X-Men.   We should be hearing about the lawsuits any day now.
         But HELLBOY had it's saving graces - for one, it kept it's sense of humor.   Aside from Hellboy's straight-upfront quips, there were the subtlties.   Amid incessant Government denials of the existence of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense, FBI agent John Myers is immediately assigned to 'Section 51' of that very agency - a touch not lost on we conspiracy theorists of the world...   Another such saving grace was the masterful performance of one of filmdom's last true chamelions, John Hurt, as Prof Bruttenholm.   As much could be said for Selma Blair (as firestarter Liz Sherman), who, if you forgot to wear your contact lenses, could have been mistaken for Wynona Ryder at her best.
      Enduring Line or Phrase:  "There... is... no... such... thing."

Copyright 2004,    Bangkok Eyes / bangkokeyes.com
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