There is an upper shelf I have in my mind that separates every comic book/ superhero movie from those that are really outstanding. That shelf has the likes of Dark Knight, Thor, etc. Well, I think Hellboy just joined that list. Quite a feat for a red-faced Ron Perlman, but besides all of it’s risky choices seem to have payed off.
The thing about Hellboy is that it is rooted in real events (Think X-Men First Class and the Cold War). Once again, the Nazi’s are the bad guys, led by former dead person, Grigori Rasputin (Karel Roden) and really old assassin, Kroenen (Ladislav Beran), the bad guys are as good as any in the comic book world. Kroenen is especially awesome with his constant gas mask and wizardry with sharp items. He really shows off the retro/religious/tech vibe going out in the entire movie (gotta love steampunk).
The good guys are, of course, led by Red, but also the other freak, Abe Sapien (Doug Jones). Think of him as the reptilian, less violent version of Kroenen, who levels out the scale with Hellboy. Add Jeffrey Tambor and Selma Blair’s fire starting Liz Sherman, and you have a team worthy enough of the Nazi’s evil league of evil.
The thing about this review is that it is hard to put Hellboy into words. The mixture between the paranormal and the superhero genre is fascinating, and makes me want to go see the sequel right away.