Friday, April 02, 2004

Hellboy (IMDB) (Netflix)
The trailer was strong: lots of action, snappy dialog and an improbable hero in the form of Hellboy, a large red man with chopped-off horns growing out of his forehead.

Ron Perlman is the big ugly guy and he's got a crush on Selma Blair, who likes to burst into flames (Hellboy is conveniently flame-retardent). They, the FBI and an Aqua Man retread collaborate to fight an odd assemblage of evil-doers that are a mix of Nazis warmed over from 1944, Rasputin ("I'm still not dead") and scary monsters of unknown origin.

It's a confusing stew of ideas and characters that rarely gets off the ground, and that's usually when Hellboy is being jealous of Blair or cheeky with everyone else. Unfortunately for this save-the-world pic, there's little sense of mortal danger, generating mostly an "evil, schmeevil" indifference in the viewers, one of whom said, "well, that's one DVD I won't have to buy."