Actor Spotlight: Hellboy

“Look Sammy, I’m not a very good shot……but the Samaritan here uses really big bullets.”

Back in 2000 when X-Men came out, comic book movies pretty much were very poor received at the box office.  X-Men started a new trend that continued with success for other comic franchises such as Spider-Man and 2004’s Hellboy. While the other two were well-known characters, Hellboy was not a household name and studios were obviously concerned of what kind of draw that the movie would receive.

From the mind of Mike Mignola, Guillermo del Toro brings what he calls “his dream project” to life with a little help from Ron Perlman.

Conjured by evil but raise by good, Hellboy follows a demon that spends his days fighting evil to preserve what’s good in the world.

Since Hellboy IS NOT widely known as much as other comic book characters, I figured I’d give a brief background of the comic before I get into more of the film.  Actually I’m just going to talk about how the comic came to be because the film is a pretty decent adaptation.  Originally pitched to DC Comics but turned down due to the hell aspect, indie comics Dark Horse Comics went ahead with the publishing.  After a cameo appearance in another comic, it finally got a 4 issue mini series issued in 2004.  From there, more followed and Mignola had created a nice fan base.

del Toro loved the character and jumped at the chance to bring one of his favorite characters to the theaters.  When it came to casting, Perlman was always his choice.  He had however had to convince the studios that Perlman can hold his own as a lead after a long career as a supporting actor and was able to do so by showing clips of Perlman in his 2002 film Blade II.  On a side note, watching Perlman as Reinhardt is an absolute must for anyone a fan of his work. You hear that Sons of Anarchy fans. Watch that film…oh and this one too.  Anyways, time to get back on track here. del Toro was offered and turned down Blade: Trinity, AVP: Alien vs. Predator, and even Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban to direct this film.

There are many things in this film that make it enjoyable to watch.  One can’t love Perlman’s wit and smarta$$ demeanor.  Even with all the make-up, you can see every emotion clear as day.  He will be chugging beers and smoking a cigar one second and make off the wall remarks to only be the sensitive type the next pondering his relationship with Liz Sherman. Speaking of which, Selma Blair does an excellent job playing Liz.  Perlman and Blair have excellent chemistry together. Quite honestly I don’t think there is a character here I don’t like. Doug Jone’s Abe Sapien plays an outstanding sidekick, John Hurt’s Trevor “Broom” Bruttenholm plays an excellent father figure, and Karel Roden’s Grigori Rasputin plays an outstanding villain. Even Jeffrey Tambor and Corey Johnson play great side characters. Rupert Evan’s John Meyers was probably the weakest but still not bad.

The best thing del Toro did here was put just the right amount of CGI without going over the top.  Plus with the character development he paced it just right. Kudos Mr. del Toro kudos. I loved Hellboy when I saw it on the big screen at the drive-in back in ’04 and I still do.



Posted on February 18, 2011, in Actor Spotlight, Comic Book Films and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I din’t know he was offered AVP. That’s crazy talk. Now I’m gonna picture a GDT Aliens movie.

    Nice review.

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