Hellboy Guillermo Del Toro

Hellboy Guillermo Del Toro
Upon its release many declared Hellboy the salvation of the comic book adaptation genre. Strong praise, and while the genre didn't exactly need saving (well, maybe from The Punisher remake), Hellboy's accomplishment is still impressive. What could have easily fallen into a ridiculous parody of a rather dark book (i.e. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) emerges as a vibrant, exciting, and funny homage in the hands of director Guillermo del Toro, who after seven years of trying finally managed to get this film made. It's obvious from both his commentary with creator Mike Mignola and the seemingly countless featurettes adorning this two-disc edition that del Toro gave everything in his not insubstantial frame to the project and is truly a fan of the series. The plot is convoluted and fantastical (involving Nazis, black magic, etc.), in the best comic book tradition, and despite some serious holes, is strong enough. The story revolves around Rasputin's attempts to destroy the world by summoning the very Lovecraft-ian Chaos Gods. After one such attempt is thwarted by the Americans during WWII, a baby Hellboy is dumped into our world and as the years go by he's trained to fight the monsters of the world as part of a secret government agency, until Rasputin returns in an attempt to once again call forth the Chaos Gods, with Hellboy the key to his plan. The most amazing thing about Hellboy is unquestionably the performance of Ron Perlman as Hellboy, who both del Toro and Mignola agree was the only choice to play the hulking red demon turned monster hunter, as his mannerisms and speech perfectly bring Hellboy to life and who is pretty Hellboy-looking even without make-up. Despite plans for a three-disc edition, this two-disc one features two commentary tracks (a more unfocused one by the actors and a more serious one by Mignola and del Toro), numerous brief featurettes demonstrating what was shot on what day, some short but neat comics from Mignola, deleted scenes that will appear in the extended version and an extensive documentary on its creation, among a ton of other stuff. With Spiderman the undisputed comic book adaptation king, the battle for second place is between X-Men and Hellboy. My money's on the red guy. Plus: Bios, trailers, more. (Columbia/TriStar)