Hellboy has arrived but will there be an afterlife for Neil Marshall’s latest adaptation?
Hellboy has finally been unleashed upon cinemas and the reception has been particularly fiery. Mike Mignola created the iconic antihero, of which first appeared in comics in 1993. Since then, the Dark Horse Comics character has gone on to become one of the most iconic superheroes outside of Marvel and DC. He’s certainly one of a kind, and this attracted Academy Award-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro to bring him to the screen back in 2004.
Del Toro’s Hellboy was pretty well received by audiences and critics alike. It struck a chord with fans of the comic books, as the director managed to capture – very well – the collision of our world with that of the nightmarish occult. Ron Perlman was absolutely perfect casting to play the one and only Red, and the supporting cast featured such great turns from Selma Blair, John Hurt, Doug Jones and Jeffrey Tambor. Even today, it stands out as a particularly unique and satisfying slice of superhero cinema.
The sequel – Hellboy II: The Golden Army – was arguably even better and it was evident that del Toro plunged deep into his imagination to present much of what we saw. As expected, the conclusion foreshadowed a third instalment to round off a proposed trilogy; unexpectedly, however, it never materialised. As the years went by, hopes for a third film grew increasingly slim. Now, we have an entirely new adaptation – new cast, new filmmaker, new crew. Was it warranted?
Neil Marshall‘s (The Descent, Dog Soldiers) latest has just been released in cinemas. David Harbour of Stranger Things fame is now in the lead, but sadly, critics haven’t really been kind to this latest misfire. It is currently cursed with an abysmal Metascore of 31 and an unbelievably low 12% on Rotten Tomatoes. When the first trailer arrived, general audiences were certainly sceptical of the film’s quality, and even then, the reception seems unbelievably scathing.
It is a little early to predict, but judging from the number of cinema screenings rewarded to the film on opening day, and the extremely hostile critical condemnation, it’s hard to envision Hellboy turning a handsome profit. Already, it’s wise to assume that this is the last we’ll see of Harbour’s Hellboy, and with del Toro’s third film a near impossibility, that may be it for a very long time.
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