Sunday, June 29, 2008


When it comes to Super Hero movies I don't need much in the way of a plot. Throw in the barest thread to keep me interested...Lex Luthor trying to create new real estate, the Green Goblin seeking revenge, the Joker robbing a bank...let's face it, the storylines are pedestrian at best but we don't care because the action is HUGE and, more It is a release from the every day.

When we talk about Hellboy (2004), those elements come into play. The basic plot is simple: Nazis trying to touch the occult summon a demon who is raised by the good guys and turns good himself. He fights various "things that go bump in the night" because he is equipped to handle them. Eventually, however, the people guiding the Nazis will return to bring forth the Apocalypse at which time Hellboy (Ron Perlman) will have to choose; is he a man or a demon?

Along the way we get some pretty cool fight scenes such as the slaying of 6 guards by Karl Ruprecht Kroenen (Ladislav Beren), some sort of undead surgically created/maintained creature with no verbal skills but lots of combat abilities. He has a bizarre fascination with long bladed knives. It would seem "Hitler's top assassin" would have more lethal weapons...but then again, that would not have been nearly as cool, would it?

But of course there is the subplot surrounding the relationship of Hellboy with Liz Sherman (Selma Blair). It is obvious the two of them
It is obvious the two of them share a past together. Her firestarting abilities would be troubling for most people but for Hellboy...well, a running gag is "fire doesn't hurt me!"
He has a mighty stone fist and a gun that has a seemingly endlessly array of bullets. He seems to enjoy combat and wants to do it alone. This leads to some highly entertaining scenes as he battles the resurrecting and replicating Sammael (Brian Steele) across 2 continents. And that is the most satisfying thing about the movie...the combat scenes are entertaining. They are not much more than mindless hack and slash...but in a Super Hero movie, mindless hack & slash can work very well.

He inquires of Abe Sapien (Doug Jones...who sounds a LOT like David Hyde Pierce whom you remember as Niles Crane on Frasier) on how to slay Sammael. Later Abe is injured and taken out of the equation...but I suspect he will have a larger role in the upcoming sequel.
The plot has a fairly standard ending but the journey to get there is just so much fun that you don't really care. It delivered what I, at least, want from a Super Hero movie; lots of fun, a lot of over the top combat and a satisfying conclusion.

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