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Ciaran says

A perfect realization of the world Mike Mignola created.

Tym says

This is a fine start to the fun, and tributes Mignola’s books reverently.

Darren says

A great visualization to the printed work, Mignola’s character is brought forth in a visceral, solid magnitude, with incredible set pieces and a defining performace by Perlman.

History

Guillermo Del Toro is lauded now for Pan’s Labyrinth and Crimson Peak, but he found that fantastic spectacle groove first with this film.

This adaptation is primarily so effective because Del Toro is religeously honoring the source. He doesn’t make the common mistake of enforcing his style onto material he doesn’t trust; instead, all of his skill is in support of channeling Mignola’s original comics purely to the screen.

Creator Mike Mignola’s art is always a graphic wonder, streamlining Aubrey Beardsley’s hard contrast, Bruce Timm’s sleek essence, and Jack Kirby’s verve and jag. His gothic noir graphic novels suffuse intense gravity with puckish humor, his characters all bristle with high concept and curveballs, and his stories are sly, jolting, and savory.

Another thing in Hellboy’s favor is that the indie hero doesn’t come off as a superhero, instead being a celebration of pulp adventures, matinee serials, fantasy, and the supernatural. Hybridization puts him in an outsider space that audiences might equate more with Doc Savage, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Lovecraft, or Tolkien. Like Blade, he can spin other genres and outside of expectations. He can be an alternative, antidote, or antithesis to the superhero formula.

This fun, smart film is a rousing success all around, and proved to be just a warm-up for the excellent sequel.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army