"The race for the worst movie of the year is heating up" – The first reviews for Hellboy are in and… ooft

Image credit: Lionsgate

Reboots always have a hard time standing on their own two feet, and never has that been more true than with Hellboy – at least according to the reviews which are keen to drag it kicking and screaming down to the very depths of hell. 

While there’s a handful of nice things to be said about the Hellboy reboot – Milla Jovovich’s performance being one of the main standouts – this is two hours that’ll have you pining for Guillermo del Toro’s threequel that never was. Not even David Harbour, who we’ll soon see in Stranger Things season 3, could turn this one up to eleven.

Hellboy is not good, to put it mildly - NY Post (0/4)

“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.

“This awful, disgusting, unfunny, idiotically plotted comic book flick offends the senses as much as the rankest subway car on the hottest summer day. A fun-enough franchise back in the aughts, when it boasted future Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro, the new reboot has been turned into a sludge-colored Resident Evil wannabe by his successor Neil Marshall.”

David Harbour isn't as good as Ron Perlman, and neither are the rest of the cast - AV Club (C-)

“The sentimental father-son subplot is Hellboy at its most laughably absurd, highlighting the chasm between its script and its direction. Harbour, so endearing as Sheriff Hopper on Stranger Things, has none of the agreeable humor Ron Perlman brought to the character; as a result, his many quips go over like a fart in an elevator.

“The makeup is wearing him, to the extent that it takes a while to get used to his voice coming out of Hellboy’s body. Sasha Lane and Daniel Dae Kim’s supporting roles are similarly disjointed; both are fine characters with comic-book origins, but they’re shoehorned in so awkwardly that they feel superfluous. McShane glides by on how much everyone loves it when he says the word “fuck,” leaving Jovovich to give the most committed, and therefore the best, performance in the film.”

An overly long two hours - Time Out (1/5)

“It’s two hours long but feels like an eternity, lurching incoherently from one noisy set-piece to another.

“None of this is especially the fault of Hellboy himself (David Harbour from Stranger Things), who does what he can to inhabit the demon of Mike Mignola’s comic-book series with sardonic one-liners, grumpy likability and a sense of inner conflict. It is, however, the fault of just about everything else here, from the overstuffed script to a jarringly postmodern prelude set in 517 A.D. “It was known as the Dark Ages,” smirks the voiceover, “and for fuckin’ good reason.”

Hellboy has no charm and even less character - Polygon (no rating)

“Hellboy is trying to do too much and say too much, but none of it is really what the movie needs. Crosby’s script attempts to cram half a dozen discrete Hellboy stories into a single film, with poor pacing and jagged structure. Marshall tries to make it a horror flick, a comedy, and an action blockbuster, turning out middling effort on all three counts. But the biggest problem with Hellboy is that it lacks any charm.”

Worse than Thor: The Dark World

I’ll leave it to Twitter user BlackMajikMan90 to give the most damning takedown of Hellboy:

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Hey, maybe you'll still enjoy Hellboy. Just don't expect it to join our list of the best superhero movies anytime soon.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.