The new Hellboy had the daunting task of rebooting a beloved franchise with a totally new approach. The risk doesn’t seem to have paid off, as early reviews of Hellboy put it in the running to quite possibly be the worst movie of this year.
Hellboy was a critically acclaimed comic book series created by Mike Mignola, that was adapted into an even more beloved movie by fan-favorite director Guillermo del Toro. The original Hellboy featured Ron Perlman in the titular role, with del Toro making himself known to the masses as an auteur filmmaker. The film also spawned a sequel, which didn’t perform too well. Plans for a third movie were in the works for a long time, but eventually did not materialize, per Screen Rant.
The new Hellboy sees David Harbour (Stranger Things) in the lead role with a different story and tone, given that the film has an R rating, compared to the PG-13 rating of the previous films. The new Hellboy sees the character deal with a new threat and other world-ending consequences, with the trailers promising a visually pleasing film with great action and a different Hellboy than what fans were used to with Perlman’s version.
However, early reviews of the film hint at a messy and incoherently terrible movie, which might not bode well for the movie’s opening weekend at the box office.
Variety delves into why the new Hellboy just doesn’t live up to the mark.
“It’s longing to be a bada** hard-R epic, but it’s basically a pile of origin-story gobbledygook, frenetic and undercooked, full of limb-hacking, eye-gouging monster battles as well as an atmosphere of apocalyptic grunge that signifies next to nothing.”
Other outlets, such as the New York Post, are far less forgiving of the new Neil Marshall adaptation of the comic book.
“The race for worst movie of the year is heating up. You could even say it’s hotter than hell, now that Hellboy has taken the lead.”
The early reviews of Hellboy don’t seem to mince words, and it’s difficult to remember when a cult-favorite franchise drew this much ire from critics. Slash Film even goes as far to dub Hellboy “one of the worst comic book movies ever made” in their review.
“In a word, Hellboy is unpleasant. Other appropriate adjectives to describe this reboot include dreadful, obnoxious, unnecessary, and interminable. “
While critics have weighed in with their thoughts, it remains to be seen how audiences will judge Hellboy, thus determining its impact at the box office.
Hellboy is set to premiere on April 12.