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Connoisseur of the creepy and weird, Guillermo Del Toro's, live action rendering of the comic book anti hero, Hellboy, adheres neatly to the Hollywood superhero structure while still maintaining Del Toro's signature dark mystique. In his cache of works, past and future, Hellboy falls nearer to Pacific Rim than Pan's Labyrinth. Also true to Del Toro form, the film stars heavily decorated creature actor, Doug Jones, whom's realization of Hellboy's scholarly water born humanoid partner, Abe, far exceeds the title of sidekick. Ron Perlman as Hellboy shies of Jones' creature acting chops. The red monkey's persistent sarcasm and blasé attitude border on exhausting although, broken up by the practical effects and stunt heavy action sequences, become bearable at best. As a whole, Hellboy '04 watches nothing like the present day Marvel and DC super hero mega franchises because of Del Toro's injection of macabre. Unfortunately it still sells itself short by leaning heavily on many of the same blockbuster tropes.




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