(US - 2019)
Directed by Neil Marshall. Written by Andrew Cosby. Cast: David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Daniel Dae Kim, Sasha Lane, Thomas Haden Church, Sophie Okonedo, Stephen Graham, Penelope Mitchell, Brian Gleeson, Alistair Petrie, Rick Warden, Nitin Ganatra, Mark Stanley, Laila Morse, Kristina Klebe, Mario de la Rosa, Markos Rounthwaite, Troy James. (R, 121 mins)
Following 2004's HELLBOY and 2008's HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY, both very well-received big-screen takes on Mike Mignola's Dark Horse Comics character, director Guillermo del Toro and star Ron Perlman never got around to making a much-discussed third installment. As del Toro grew busy announcing more projects than he'll ever be able to make in one lifetime, the third film has ended up being a reboot with a new team of filmmakers headed by Neil Marshall, helming his first feature film since 2010's CENTURION. Hailed as the next big thing in horror after his 2006's acclaimed THE DESCENT, Marshall (who established his bona fides with the 2002's word-of-mouth video store hit DOG SOLDIERS) was subsequently given the cold shoulder by genre fans with his gonzo 2008 post-nuke throwback DOOMSDAY, an absolute blast that just didn't click with its intended audience. Following CENTURION, Marshall turned to television, finding acclaim with hired gun gigs on shows like BLACK SAILS, HANNIBAL, WESTWORLD, and most notably, the instant classic 2012 "Blackwater" episode of GAME OF THRONES. With Marshall working from a script by Andrew Cosby, the creator of the cult sci-fi series EUREKA, the new HELLBOY had some potential. STRANGER THINGS' David Harbour certainly looks the part as the title character, but after a good start, it peters out, looking every bit like what you'd expect from Cannon cover band Millennium Media as things eventually devolve into a blur of corner-cutting Bulgarian CGI, lunkheaded needle drops (a Spanish-language cover of the Scorpions'"Rock You Like a Hurricane" in a scene set in Tijuana, and later on, a video-gamey shootout to Motley Crue's "Kickstart My Heart," for some reason), and all-too-obvious signs of some post-production mangling, apparent even without recent revelations that tensions mounted when the producers fired Marshall's cinematographer against his wishes, then took the film away from him in post (Marshall has done no press for the film's release and was a no-show at the premiere), and that Marshall and Harbour apparently didn't get along during the shoot.
old friend, the late, great John Hurt, even if he's undermined by some truly embarrassing CGI near the end. Thomas Haden Church plays Dark Horse fan favorite Lobster Johnson in an appearance so fleeting that calling it a walk-on would be charitable. He does turn up again midway through the interminable 13-minute (!) closing credits crawl, presumably to set up a sequel--along with yet another end credits stinger--that ain't gonna happen.