Did it stink? You betcha.
Did I walk out of it? Yep. At the 1h mark from the 2h movie.
Did I enjoy it in any way? NOPE.
Stinker of the year: Hellboy 3.
Last year it was The killing of the sacred deer and Ghost Movie (both very artsy). This year it’s Hellboy – and what really kills me, I was actually looking forward for another chapter in the Hellboy epic. Unfortunately, the movie appears to have been written by 13 year olds for other 13 year-olds with incoherent plot lines, tons of exposition and gory scenes.
The plot (as far as I’ve gotten to before I walked out)
Movie starts with a scene which looked like a mix from Sin City and the adventures of Sabrina. Some people on the hill, including Arthur and Merlin, decide to chop the head of a witch and then chop her into pieces, each to its own “password-protected” case which could only be opened by a holy man. OK, there was a lot of gore and gushing blood. I can live with that. The reasoning for the murder seems pretty valid too: She wants to re-do the world in her image..
Fast forward, present day, Hellboy goes to Tijuana to recover an agent which went missing after entering a vampire lair. He goes inside this club wearing a hoodie and is immediately recognised by the guy on the WWE-style stage who challenges him to a show-down. The lines are boldly translated from Spanish onto the screen so that the people who don’t know what’s going on can see the challenge. Hellboy accepts the fight (reluctantly) and then the guy morphs into a freaking bat – ears and snout and everything. I was like “WTF” – OK, the plot is paper thin – I could see that coming for miles away. Hellboy accidentaly impales the bat (see what they did there with the Dracula reference) but not before the dying agent murmurs back “The end is coming” in Spanish. Ominous reading… wow…
Jump forward to Hellboy drooling in a bar. He is recovered by some agents who look like a stiff version of Mulder and Scully from the X-Files. They take him back to his dad where this 40-year old-looking Hellboy has a teen hissy-fit. Umm, I was looking to spot some humour, some of the old spark which made the previous movies so fun but none came…
His dad sends him to Britain to meet a secret order and hunt some monsters but this order reveals that hellboy was actually on their kill list before the giants they were supposed to hunt but they didn’t kill him because his dad adopted him after the Nazi experiment fail.
Flashback to movie one for 5 minutes where we re-live the scene, this time with 3 extra characters – in a pitiful attempt to bind the stories together… Then Hellboy goes “OK…” and I’m like.. “What was the point of that other than exposition?”
And I was right, exposition was being shovelled in my face from every character who had a talking line. I stole a glance at my watch and it was only the 20min mark.
Hellboy goes hunting for giants with these British ex-knights still riding horses and spears electrified from a backpack on their backs which looks like the Ghostbusters kit. When they reach a bridge, they turn on Hellboy and start spearing him to death. Scene cuts when Hellboy is thrown into water and in floats one of the attackers heads, all decapitated.
I was “WTF! WTF are they doing?? If they were planning on taking Hellboy out, why did they take him out troll hunting when they could have taken him out peacefully in their headquarters? Why did the editing stop when Hellboy was being killed? Who decapitated the baddie?”
Scene cuts to a talking hog. I kid you not. This shitty monstrosity animated by probably the same guys who did the hog and the rhyno in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (remember these two assholes?)
So they created this:
And I shit you not, he had a Scouse accent (pronounced accent from the Liverpool area, common to uneducated masses). They even cut through the movie to give the hog a backstory (more exposition), trying to explain why he hated Hellboy.
They bring in folklore tales of changelings and even Baba Yaga (from the Russian folklore). All through this, the story fails to keep the plot coherent as Deus Ex plots keep saving Hellboy from his troubles (first giants save him from the knights, then a girl who introduces herself as a medium and sort of a goddaughter to Hellboy). I was trying to follow the plot sooo hard.
Let me tell you what I gathered:
- Hellboy is upset cause his dad lied to him about the fact that he came to kill him when the Nazis brought him about (we knew the truth in Movie 1 so this was absolute shite)
- The angry hog hated Hellboy because he ruined his chance of being loved in the human world by Hellboy when he exposed him as a Changeling to his human parents
- The same human parents gave birth to the girl who helps Hellboy and shamelessly buts in in the investigation (her on the left)
- A new special forces agent with some distinctive scarring appears to take over the mission.
- The mission keeps changing from minute to minute but it seems to follow the rebirth of Nimue
- Nimue was the chick who was beheaded when the movie started
- She is still alive and all her body parts are now being retrieved by the hog
- We’re not told how the hog was told of Nimue or how he found the chests
- We’re not told who the women were who sew her up
- Apparently she endured the pain of having her dead limbs re-attached in order to exact vengeance on humankind (didn’t they know that the nerve endings die when tissue dies?)
- She goes up on the hill where she was first killed and three witches bring back her crown. She kills two by twisting them into a pile. The third she threatens. I was like.. why didn’t she kill all three of them?
- Medium girl asks scar face about his backstory and we have some more exposition where a mission was ambushed in the jungle by an unknown predator (strong references to “Predator”- the movie)
- We know something is wrong with scar face as he keeps injecting something in his thigh. At one point he nearly transforms (he’s a were-cheetah!)
- They start battling on this hill-top and then Nimue and hog decide to go (not sure why??) and Hellboy needs to rescue new chick (Alice) from a poison arrow that Nimue threw in her neck.
- Why didn’t Nimue just kill Alice? They wanted to pad the runtime!
- How did Alice survive the trip from that mountain top to Merlin’s hiding spot without dying from poisoning? Convenient plot!
- He digs up Merlin who was still alive and literally hiding underneath a rock? and Merlin extracts the poisonous thorn and puts the cheetah boy and medium chick to sleep to tell Hellboy some more exposition.
- Oh yea, Hellboy has a time limit to solve all the world’s issues otherwise he’ll lose one eye to Baba Yaga who lives in a house walking on chicken legs.
I walked out at this point.
Geez. I absolutely could not tolerate the shitty one-liners, the floppy script and the wooden acting. AND THE EXPOSITION! I’m still gagging after the bucket loads that I had to swallow.. People kept on praising the CGI and all I can think of was that animated Scouse Hog and Baba Yaga – whose saggy tits were visible in every scene but refused to move with her body as she was doing her contortionist routine. They just looked glued on. I was staring more at Baba Yaga’s tits than at anything else in that scene. Mesmerising work! Equally as bad a reboot as Tom Cruise’s the mummy if not probably worse.
I’m gonna re-watch the Del Toro ones and be happy with just the 1 & 2.