Friday, December 21, 2018

Hellboy (2019) Trailer - Review/Reaction

david harbour hellboy 2019 poster wallpaper screensaver image picture

The long awaited trailer for the Neil Marshall directed Hellboy movie was released recently. This is a reboot with David Harbour taking over the mantle of the titular superhero from Ron Perlman.

Joining David Harbour are Ian Shane (replacing John Hurt) as Professor Broom, Sasha Lane, Milla Jovovich and Daniel Dae Kim.

Check out the trailer:

This trailer proved to be underwhelming. The movie tries to ape the MCU movie style of humor that so many recent movies have tried desperately and failed.

This is an important point as Mike Mignola (creator of Hellboy) himself gave his stamp of approval for the reboot and claimed that is much closer to his vision for the character.

It is possible that Mignola and Marshall tried to bring the superhero back to his horror roots and stay away from the particular sense of humor that del Toro and Ron Perlman brought so successfully to the movies. Guillermo's sense of humor was enjoyable and meshed well with the flow of movie.

But here it is a different situation. Perhaps the studio forced the director to include the comedic tone to the movie. The trailer itself starts with a scene that is intended to showcase the comedic nature of the movie, but then the trailer switches gears and becomes a save-the-world movie with our hero being the only guy capable of stopping the apocalypse.

The humor looks forced and either comes off as childish or falls flat most of the time. One of the lines (“Hey, I am on your side”) is directly lifted from the first Guillermo del Toro movie:

Similarly, Hellboy's fight against a bigger opponent reminds one of the encounter between Hellboy and Wink in the fantastic Troll Market sequence of Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

Considering that Mike Mignola clearly wanted this movie not to take the del Toro route, the trailer is just surprising to say the least.

Not only the CGI but even the production values look below average. There is a generic blockbuster feel to the whole movie that clearly misses the unique horror/comic book roots of the character that Mike Mignola repeatedly claimed that this movie would have.

The actors appear uninterested with Ian Shane looking positively bored as Professor Broom. Ditto for Sasha Lane and Daniel Dae Kim. Milla Jovovich seems to be in just for the paycheck.

David Harbour's take on the character might be lost in the obvious (but failed) attempts at humor. Fingers crossed on this.

I was looking forward to this movie primarily for two reasons: the director and for featuring one of my favorite superheroes.

Neil Marshall has directed one of my favorite werewolf movies: Dog Soldiers. That movie was made on a much lower budget than this one and had a great screenplay, acting and action sequences. I also liked Centurion starring Michael Fassbender and Olga Kurylenko.

I can only assume that studio interference has played a significant factor in the dumbing down of his latest effort.

This trailer confirms that it would have been a better idea for Universal Pictures and Mignola to have let Guillermo del Toro make the series finale. He clearly had great ideas for the third chapter that would have completed the story arc for Anung Un Rama and Liz Sherman.

Well, Ron Perlman looks set to be the definitive version of Hellboy and the del Toro movies would remain classics - a recognition very well deserved.

Click on the link below to buy Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy:

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Image Sources: Nu Boyana FX, Campbell Grobman Films, Dark Horse Entertainment, Lawrence Gordon Productions, Millennium Films 


  1. I was underwhelmed by the trailer too. I've not read the comic so don't know how far the Del Toro version varied; however, those two previous movies looked so gorgeous and were quirky and imaginative. Nothing in this trailer looked special though I though Harbour looked the part. That said, Perlman is a tough act to follow.

    1. I have not read the comics too, but loved what Guillermo did with the source material. As you pointed out correctly, his HB movies are so beautifully shot, quirky and imaginative (come to think of it, those words apply to all of his movies).

      I agree that David Harbour looks to be the highlight of the movie. But for sure he has some big shoes to fill.