Hellboy (film)

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Hellboy
Hellboy poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Produced by Lawrence Gordon
Lloyd Levin
Mike Richardson
Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro
Story by Guillermo del Toro
Peter Briggs
Based on Hellboy 
by Mike Mignola
Starring Ron Perlman
Selma Blair
Jeffrey Tambor
Karel Roden
Rupert Evans
John Hurt
Music by Marco Beltrami
Cinematography Guillermo Navarro
Edited by Peter Amundson
Production
company
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
  • April 2, 2004 (2004-04-02)
Running time 122 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Russian
Budget $66 million[1]
Box office $99,318,987[1]

Hellboy is a 2004 American supernatural superhero film, starring Ron Perlman and directed by Guillermo del Toro. The film is loosely based on the Dark Horse Comics graphic novel Hellboy: Seed of Destruction by Mike Mignola. It was produced by Revolution Studios, and distributed by Columbia Pictures. The film is about a demonic beast, known as Hellboy, who secretly works to keep the world safe from paranormal threats with his team, the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense.

Released in April 2004, it grossed $59 million at the United States box office and $99 million worldwide[1] and was favorably received by critics. A sequel, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, was released on July 11, 2008.[2]

Plot[edit]

In Oct. 9 1944, the Nazis build a dimensional portal off the coast of Scotland. With the help of Russian mystic Grigori Rasputin, they intend to free the Ogdru Jahad—monstrous entities imprisoned in deep space—to aid them in defeating the Allies. Rasputin knows this will be an apocalyptic event that he believes will create a paradise. He opens the portal with the aid of his disciples, Ilsa von Haupstein and Obersturmbannführer Karl Ruprecht Kroenen, member of the Thule Society and Adolf Hitler's top assassin. An Allied team is sent to destroy the portal, guided by young Trevor Bruttenholm, who is well-versed in the occult. The German team is killed and the portal is destroyed—in the process absorbing Rasputin—while Haupstein and Kroenen escape. The Allied team discovers that an infant demon with a right hand of stone came through the portal; they dub him "Hellboy" and Bruttenholm adopts him.

Sixty years later, FBI agent John Myers is transferred to the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD) at the request of Bruttenholm and he meets the adult Hellboy and a psychic, amphibious humanoid named Abe Sapien. He learns that a third BPRD member, Liz Sherman, has recently checked into a mental hospital to protect others from her volatile pyrokinetic abilities. Despite regular visits and coaxing from Hellboy, she is determined not to return. Kroenen and Haupstein resurrect Rasputin in the mountains of Moldova. The three unleash a hellhound known as Sammael. Rasputin imbues Sammael with the power to reincarnate and split his essence, causing two of the creature's eggs to hatch and mature each time one dies. Rasputin visits Liz as she sleeps, activating her powers and almost destroying the hospital. Myers convinces her to return to the Bureau.

Sammael's ability to multiply becomes a problem, as Hellboy repeatedly kills it, creating dozens. Abe is injured while retrieving some of its eggs, and Kroenen critically wounds one of the FBI agents sent with Hellboy. Kroenen, whose mutilated body is run by mechanical parts, shuts himself down, pretending to be defeated. Kroenen's body is brought to the bureau. FBI Director Tom Manning is angered by Hellboy's recklessness. Myers takes Liz out for coffee and to talk. Hellboy, jealous, covertly follows them. Rasputin appears at the bureau, reanimating Kroenen before confronting Professor Bruttenholm. Rasputin offers him a vision of the future, showing Hellboy is the agent that will destroy the world. Rasputin tells Bruttenholm he will also give him a quick death in return for the care he gave Hellboy. Bruttenholm is stabbed in the neck by Kroenen and dies clutching a rosary.

Manning takes over the B.P.R.D. and locates Rasputin's mausoleum in an old cemetery outside Moscow, Russia. A team led by Manning and Hellboy enter the mausoleum, but swiftly become separated. Hellboy and Manning find their way to Kroenen's lair and defeat him. Telling Manning to stay back, Hellboy reunites with Liz and Myers at Sammael's nest to defend them, but the creatures overwhelm him. Liz uses her pyrokinetic powers to incinerate the Sammaels and their eggs. Hellboy, Liz and Myers lose consciousness and are captured by Rasputin. To force Hellboy to release the Ogdru Jahad, Rasputin sucks Liz's soul out of her body, telling Hellboy that Liz will come back to life if he obeys. Hellboy awakens his true power as Anung un Rama, causing his horns to regrow. He nearly releases the Ogdru Jahad, but the injured Myers reminds him of who he is and that he has the right to choose his own path. Remembering his true self and what Bruttenholm brought him up to be, Hellboy breaks off his horns, returning to his former self and resealing the Ogdru Jahad. Hellboy stabs Rasputin with one of his broken horns.

Rasputin has been possessed by a creature from the Ogdru Jahad. The tentacled Behemoth bursts out of Rasputin's body and grows to immense size, killing Rasputin and Ilsa. Hellboy allows himself to be swallowed by the beast while detonating a belt of hand grenades. The explosion tears the Behemoth apart. Liz's vital signs are gone when Hellboy returns from the fight, but he whispers into her ear and her life is restored. When she asks how her soul was returned, Hellboy replies that he told the creatures from the other side the cost of taking her: "Hey, you on the other side. Let her go. Because for her I'll cross over, and then you'll be sorry." She and Hellboy kiss, and she surrounds them in flame as Myers stands and watches.

Cast[edit]

Release[edit]

Hellboy had its world premiere at the Mann Village Theater in Westwood, Los Angeles, California on March 30, 2004.[4]

Mike Mignola, the original creator of the hellboy character, has stated that he was "very happy" with the Hellboy movies.[5]

Box office[edit]

The film opened in wide release on April 2, 2004 where it grossed USD $23.1 million in 3,028 theaters on its opening weekend. It went on to make $59.7 million in North America and $39.7 million in the rest of the world for a worldwide total of $99.4 million, well above its $66 million budget.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

The film was well received by most critics with an average review score of 81% based on 196 reviews, which earned it a "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[6] Metacritic assigned the film a score of 72%, based on a weighted average of 37 reviews from mainstream critics.[7]

Entertainment Weekly gave the film a "B" rating and wrote, "Pop pretensions can't undo a basic contradiction: that our hero is fighting metaphysical evil with pure, meaty brawn. Hellboy is engaging, but it's got a lot more boy in it than hell".[8]

In his review for The New York Times, Elvis Mitchell wrote, "Mr. del Toro avidly lavishes this texture on Hellboy ... giving it a kiss of distinction. It's an elegant haunted house of a picture with dread and yearning part of the eeriness".[9] Roger Ebert gave the film three and half stars out of four and praised Ron Perlman's performance: "And in Ron Perlman, it has found an actor who is not just playing a superhero, but enjoying it ... he chomps his cigar, twitches his tail and battles his demons with something approaching glee. You can see an actor in the process of making an impossible character really work".[10] The film also received good reviews in the British press – for example, Peter Bradshaw from The Guardian commented amusedly on the unhistoricity of the Nazis invading Britain in the initial sequence but overall called the film "bizarre and loopy, romantic and dynamic".[11]

Claudia Puig USA Today was less enthusiastic and wrote, "Hellboy '​s special effects don't offer much of anything new, its far-fetched plot leaves a bit to be desired, and there is plenty that flat-out doesn't make sense. Those unfamiliar with the comic book may leave the theater bedeviled and scratching their heads".[12]

Accolades[edit]

Hellboy was nominated for four Saturn Awards in 2005, including Best Fantasy Film, Best Special Edition DVD Release, and Best Make-Up, which it won.[13] Empire magazine ranked Hellboy 11th in their "The 20 Greatest Comic Book Movies" list (2008).[14] In 2008, Hellboy was also ranked 13th out of 94 in Rotten Tomatoes' "Comix Worst to Best" countdown (a lower rank signified a better film).[15]

Soundtrack[edit]

Hellboy: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Marco Beltrami
Released April 6, 2004 (2004-04-06)
Genre Film score
Label Varèse Sarabande
Producer Marco Beltrami
Marco Beltrami chronology
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
(2003)
Hellboy
(2004)
I, Robot
(2004)

Hellboy's film score was composed by Marco Beltrami.

Track listing[edit]

All music composed by Marco Beltrami.

No. Title Length
1. "Oct. 7, 1944"   1:17
2. "Meet Hellboy"   1:29
3. "Main Title"   1:08
4. "Snow Walkers"   2:24
5. "Liz Sherman"   2:28
6. "Fireproof"   1:34
7. "Rooftop Tango"   1:13
8. "Wake Up Dead"   3:20
9. "Evil Doers"   2:45
10. "Kroenen's Lied"   1:59
11. "Father's Funeral"   2:04
12. "Alley Fight"   3:13
13. "Nazis"   2:42
14. "Investigating Liz"   3:24
15. "Abe Sapien"   1:27
16. "Mechanical Mausoleum"   0:42
17. "Soul Sucker"   3:31
18. "Stand By Your Man"   2:34
19. "Hellboy & Liz"   2:46
20. "B.P.R.D."   2:58

Home media[edit]

Hellboy was released on DVD in a two-disc special edition DVD on July 27, 2004, less than sixteen weeks after it opened in theaters. Included, were video introductions by Del Toro and Selma Blair, plus a feature that allowed viewers to click during selected parts of the film to comics drawn by Mike Mignola. Other bonus features include audio commentaries by Del Toro, Blair, Mignola, Ron Perlman, Jeffrey Tambor and Rupert Evans, as well as visits to the "Right Hand of Doom" set and a two-hour documentary.[16] This DVD topped the Nielsen VideoScan's First Alert DVD sales chart and the Video Store magazine's list of top rentals for the week ending August 1, 2004, registering a total of more than a half-million units in sales.[17]

A three-disc unrated director's cut DVD set was released on October 19, 2004. In addition to all of the features of the original two-disc set, with the exception of a new director's commentary replacing the old one, new features included Del Toro introducing 20 minutes of additional and extended scenes, a composer commentary with isolated score replacing the cast commentary, a Cast Video Commentary with Perlman, Blair, Tambor and Rupert Evans, multiple production workshop featurettes, a Comic Con 2002 Panel Discussion with Del Toro, Perlman and Mignola, and A Quick Guide to Understanding Comics with Scott McCloud.[18]

A high-definition Blu-ray version of the director's cut was released on June 5, 2007. It contains most of the same content as the DVD set, but is missing a few features such as the video commentary and the composer commentary.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Hellboy". Box Office Mojo (Amazon). Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  2. ^ DiOrio, Carl (2008-02-14). "Paramount shuffle delays 'Trek'". The Hollywood Reporter (Nielsen Business Media). Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  3. ^ del Toro, Guillermo (July 11, 2011). "PACIFIC RIM". DelToroFilms.com. Retrieved August 11, 2012. 
  4. ^ Schneider, Sue (April 5, 2004). "Seeing red (carpet) at the premiere of Hellboy". Cinescape. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  5. ^ http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/213k4i/i_am_mike_mignola_and_i_created_hellboy_twenty/cg99ehe
  6. ^ "Hellboy at Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  7. ^ Hellboy at Metacritic Retrieved on 2010-05-25.
  8. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (March 31, 2004). "Hellboy". Entertainment Weekly (Time Inc.). Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  9. ^ Mitchell, Elvis (April 2, 2004). "Horror Comic at the Core, With a Soulful Sweetness". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  10. ^ Ebert, Roger (April 2, 2004). "Hellboy". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2008-07-08.  3.5/4 stars
  11. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (27 August 2004). "Hellboy – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-03-21.  4/5 stars
  12. ^ Puig, Claudia (April 1, 2004). "Hellboy digs down a little too deep". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  13. ^ Walton, Alice M (May 4, 2005). "Spidey swings to Saturn victory". Variety. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  14. ^ "The 20 Greatest Comic Book Movies". Empire. Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  15. ^ Giles, Jeff. "Comix Worst to Best". Rotten Tomatoes (Flixster). Retrieved 2008-02-04. 
  16. ^ Hettrick, Scott (May 31, 2004). "Hellboy takes quick route to DVD". Variety. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  17. ^ Rose, Marla Matzer (August 5, 2004). "Hellboy burns way to top of rental chart". Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2007-09-14. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  18. ^ Arnold, Thomas K (July 26, 2004). "Studios big on double features". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  19. ^ "Blu-ray Review: Hellboy | High-Def Digest". Bluray.highdefdigest.com. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 

External links[edit]