I suppose that with the wonders that only Hollywood could bring, you’ve been under the impression that superheroes are refined, majestic, daring, and save the world in style. Wrong. Not all superheroes are gorgeous. Proof? Let me introduce you to a supernatural superhero named Hellboy.
In 1944, with the German Nazis desperate to take over America, they inquire the help of a somewhat dark priest named Grigori Rasputin to open the portal leading to an intergalactic stone prison of the Ogdru Jahad (The Seven Gods of Chaos). These so-called gods are capable of bringing about the apocalypse–the destruction of Earth. Alarmed by this plan of the Nazis, the US sends a team to stop the opening of the portal. Guided by a young Professor Trevor Bruttenholm, the team successfully intercepts the awakening of the gods of destruction.
However, because the portal was opened for quite some time, Prof. Bruttenholm suggests that they scout the area to see if some evil entities managed to pass through. In their search, Prof. Bruttenholm discovers a red demon baby with “a large (right) hand.” Prof. Bruttenholm tames it with a Baby Ruth candy and decides to care for it. It is here that a name is born: Hellboy, an entity “from the dark side” who is “on our side.”
The movie then takes us sixty years later, where Hellboy has become a paranormal investigator and a slayer of supernatural entities. It takes us to a life complicated by restrictions, discrimination, feelings of loneliness, and the inevitable death of loved ones.
The film delivers genuine action with mind-blowing stunts and effects. The overall feel of the movie is one that is truly reflective of the director, Guillermo del Toro’s style–eerie, but sophisticated. Now, I’m not familiar with the comic version of Hellboy, but this, I have to say: The non-human characters were truly non-human! No stereotypes.! All original work. Especially Abe Sapien, a merman character and a teammate of Hellboy. I’m just amazed at his abilities of telepathy and seeing through time, although I was a bit disappointed at his lack of combative abilities.
Hellboy is your kind of superhero who delivers in such unglamorous ways. But you have to admire his mix of abilities: an incombustible and sturdy body, a meaty frame, acrobatics, a practical and quick-thinking mind, and a certain flair for cats (Hey, maybe that’s where he got his acrobatic abilities?). Hellboy may not be great outside, but he sure is cool! Not all superheroes are beautiful–but they all are–on the inside.
By the way, about his two horns on the top of his head, earlier, I thought they were goggles. You know, some kind of fashion statement. It turns out that those were the stumps of his horns… 🙂
I’m surprised I didn’t get to see this flick sooner than later. I kept seeing it on the video shop but was just reluctant to hire it. But then, I saw the trailer from Hellboy II: The Golden Army, and decided to give it a chance, at least before the sequel comes out. Mind you, I’m eagerly awaiting the sequel, where from the looks of the trailer, seems more of a cinematic eye-candy than the first.