Just a few months ago in December, audiences were given the first real glimpse of Hellboy‘s long-awaited return to the big screen. We saw a different version of Hellboy than we were used to, and it was a bit concerning for some, myself included.
As a longtime Hellboy fan, I certainly have hopes, I try to be realistic and not get those hopes up too high…but you’re talking to a guy who for the past several years has been known to dress in tribute to good ol’ Red. At Midnight on March 1st, the redband trailer dropped to reveal a bit more.
The Hellboy formula is one that should’t be difficult. Big scary looking guy with pretty much a heart of gold, extremely loyal, and a friend to cats. As the latest trailer starts we see some imagery that feels vaguely familiar. Nasty old Nazi’s clearly trying to conjure something up, and rarely do Nazi’s brew up much worthwhile (like the odd 3D glasses a Nazi has on for some reason).
We’re given a quick montage that shows Red’s entry to our dimension, and then we wind up with him coming to the realization that he’s basically a one man army, and he doesn’t seem thrilled about it.
They barely even touch on his giant red stone arm, hardly a glimpse of weaponry, and I didn’t see a single cat! Well…never mind, you’ll see.
We are shown a massive overload of really sub-par CGI. It’s as though Ghostbusters 2016 and the latest Mummy film had a family and just left the kids unsupervised. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the worst CGI, but it’s not great…and in this trailer there is a LOT of it.
Instead of giving tried and true amazing things in the Hellboy Universe, instead of capitalizing on that and just running with a pretty straight forward history full of amazing stories, it seems to devolve into a sad CGI fest.
The scale on many scenes in the trailer are massive, we watch Hellboy get his ass handed to him a bit by a creature that is several times his size, but the scale may be too big as additional CGI fueled scenes reveal.
Don’t get me wrong, watching Red smash and shoot things is fun, and what we are shown is definitely more reminiscent of the comic book style many know. I see what they are trying, but it’s a very lofty goal.
Much of this seems taken straight from Mike Mignola‘s Hellboy: The Wild Hunt arc. Combine that storyline with more BPRD related things and I see where they are trying to go, really I do! It almost feels like they are doing a bit too much and other things suffer as a result.
Milla Jovovich helms the lead villain, it’s just kind of whatever so far, which is a bummer because I usually am a very big fan of her work. You’ve got Ian McShane in here too and he’s also kind of whatever in the trailer.
One thing that seems to be missing is humor, while there was a line or two in the trailer that seemed to be intended for comedic effect, it just falls flat. I’m not expecting constant laughs, but Red has to drop some occasional comedy gold.
I was on board with David Harbour donning the horns and carrying the Good Samaritan for this iteration of Hellboy. It seems the cast has not been given much to work with after viewing the teaser and this trailer.
I’ll hold out hope for April 12th, but it’s fading.