Friday, April 09, 2004

"Hellboy" Movie Review

I've read a lot of comic books, and I've seen a lot of movies based on comic books. The former are usually art forms wonderfully created, at least in my memory, and the latter are normally badly done. Yes, you can cite the recent Spider-Man, but how many Hulks are out there? For that matter, have you seen the earlier incarnations of Spider-Man, including that live-action T.V. show? Horrible.

Hellboy gets it right. A deft screenplay by Guillermo del Toro that takes the time to set up his birth (a bit of a slow period in the film), shows you his temperament and the way The Big Red One uses humor, and slows down the action to show you his humanity as he reaches out to touch a kitten.

I've been a fan of Ron Perlman since The Beauty and the Beast, maybe even since that caveman epic he was in with no dialogue. Ron can act through a mask, and has often been required to do so. That's why they keep going to the same well. This one is deep.

Ron gets a lot of help from the sci-fi veteran John Hurt (The Elephant Man, Alien), and several others, including a naive FBI agent through whose eyes we get to meet this gentle giant.

I just wish every comic book adaptation didn't feel it had to build to an explosion between Good vs. Evil. Every time. God, that gets tiring. But even with that, Hellboy makes it entertaining for us and shows us his good side as he's whomping the monster's head against the rocks.

This is a definite must-see for any sci fi fan or anyone who wants to see clever people make good movies.