As egregious reboots go, this violent, gory, sweary, charmless and pointless non-sequel is about as egregious as it gets. Replete with bad CGI and a set of prosthetics that make David Harbour’s Hellboy positively ugly (and squeaky) by comparison, we’re all missing Del Torro and Ron Perlman’s sympathetic and heroic protagonist. By the way, does McShane turn down anything these days?
The truly terrible Python Holy Grail prologue, with McShane’s awful voice over, primes the pump for Hellboy does Holiday on the Buses, a 70’s sitcom tour to England to put down ancient witch Nimue (Milla Jovovich, who should have known better). The British caricatures are straight out of the Hollywood cliche book; there’s a partial recap of the Hellboy origins story and a lot of claptrap about monsters, the apocalypse and a lot of recycled Underworld cliches.
Genre director Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, The Descent) should have been a safe pair of hands but either fails to spot the turkey script, or wilfully ignores the fact (not mentioning GoT Season 7). The end result is worse than Van Helsing, Hansel and Gretel and I, Frankenstein combined.
To be fair it packs in a lot of one-liners, but they mostly fall flatter than an Ikea flat-pack.
The climax to an overcomplicated plot and an over-long two hour running time is a tedious cobbling together of Merlin, Excalibur, Jovovoich overacting, and a lot more bad CGI, a rehash of everything we saw in the previous two films done better.
Best thing to do is ignore this insult to the comics and the preceding films entirely. Dig out Del Torro’s Hellboy and The Golden Army as a double bill and settle in for a decent evening’s entertainment instead of this re-heated straight-to-video tosh.
Directed By: Neil Marshall
Writer: Andrew Cosby
Rating: R (for strong bloody violence and gore throughout, and language)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Runtime: 120 minutes
Cast: David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim, Penelope Mitchell, Thomas Haden Church, Sophie Okonedo, Brian Gleeson, Kristina Klebe, Alistair Petrie