Now this one was just too fragmented. Too fragmented, and too medieval.
I do appreciate that they're going back to basics, but somehow it feels like they took it a step too far. With the whole Arthur thing but also with the soundtrack of destructive sounds, with sometimes unrealistically sloppy (I appreciate realistically sloppy - that's his style) fighting choreography, and all too simple twists and build-ups.
Daimio hesitating with the gun, everyone not liking Hellboy and then that all appropriately turning around at the end, the fall of the Witch: all these things you'd think a movie for an adult audience wouldn't have made such a predictable script for.
And though Milla is just perfect as Nimue The Blood Queen, she's also not always all convincing. Her expression of surprise most specifically. It's not haunting enough. Bewitching more than bitching, y'know?
What I do appreciate however is the unrestrained savagery, the sour humor - a large part of Hellboy's character as a whole - and the dark effects.
The effects, basically.
I appreciate not the monsters (the Hell Beasts are one grand exception here) so much as the skies, the fire, the withered wood, and certain uncomfortably macabre bits like the baby corpses in Baba Yaga's castle.
Sometimes they surprise, and impress, and SCAR you just a little.
Like the splattered brains and other bits waiting in the safe houses they scavenged all too late. Bits like that. Bits so well-made they almost don't fit in with the rest of the movie.
But sometimes they fall to cliche and shock value instead. Cheap shots. Jump scare equivalents of the gross. Like the kiss.
I'm also not a fan of how fast a pace these movies have these days. They don't let you savor. Everything just rushes by, moving from one location to the next one, and then it's over.
A better balance with this, and all of the above, and this would've been one for the books.
But even as it is there just ain't anyone else quite like Hellboy. He's the epitome of a bad ass man with a conscience - who just so happens to have been born in Hell and be the last of Arthur's lineage. Spoilers, btw.
I hope they make more of this franchise. I wouldn't mind a sequel - nor more movies in the same vein. The hot-blooded and hellish, and totally so past PC that people won't even dare poke at a starter part of it.
Though then again they do battle pretty much everything they possibly can from a PC perspective, just with a little demonic and monstrous mixed in with the equality and that all. You just can't escape it these days.
At least Hellboy keeps it fresh.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle