The other day I decided to watch the 2019 Hellboy remake starring David Harbour as our titular demon. It was a poor choice. As June Diane Raphael — and many people on Facebook — says, “The actors tried their best.” Unfortunately, their best was little help with a script that decided to include ALL OF THE PLOT LINES in an attempt to… I don’t even know.
I don’t want to tell you how to live your life, but I would like to attempt an explanation of the plot before you waste your time watching something I ultimately found boring and unintelligible. I’m going to lay out the movie the same way I explained it to my husband: using names where I remember, making names up where I don’t, and jumping around like a case of Jiffy Pop on a heated trampoline.
Okay, Hellboy goes to Mexico to track down an agent from the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense that attempted to infiltrate some vampires. Hellboy happens about this dude dressed as a luchador and SURPRISE he is a vampire. They fight and Hellboy kills the dude in self-defense but gets all whiny about it and drinks until Daddy Broom sends agents to collect him.
Daddy Broom sends him to the Osiris Club because they need help hunting giants. While talking with them, this seer lady — with eyes like Storm when she calls down the lightning — fills Hellboy in on how he came to be among humans. Nazis, satanic summoning, Broom deciding not to kill him. Daddy issues ensue.
Hellboy rides out with the Osiris chaps and they try to kill him because that’s what they wanted to do the night the Nazis summoned him. Fortunately, the giants they tracked showed up and start straight eating dudes. After Hellboy fights all three giants in a prime example of effects not being special, he passes out when a van shows up.
He wakes up in an apartment and a girl named Alice — who he saved as a baby and is able to speak to the dead — tells him that the spirits in her apartment want him dead. Then Daddy Broom shows up and with Daniel Dae Kim and they talk about the Mila Jovovich Witch that… okay. I forgot about the opening scene where Mila Jovovich Witch unleashed monsters on the world and King Arthur and Merlin hoodwinked her during a truce meeting, using Excalibur to cut her into lots of pieces. The pieces got sealed into boxes that only men of God could open.
A warthog I will call Bebop, as that is what he looks like, is angry with Hellboy and Baba Yaga [insert giant sigh here] told him that in order to seek revenge he needs to recover all of the pieces of Mila Jovovich Witch so she can sploop herself back together and help him.
SO Hellboy, Daniel Dae Kim, and Alice go back to the Osiris Club to make sure that no one gets the Mila Jovovich Witch part kept there. Did I mention that when Bebop got the first witch part he just ate the tongue of a priest and that sufficed to allow him to open the Jesus Lock on the box? Because that happened.
Once at Osiris, they find everyone dead in gruesome ways — because this movie is gory as all get out — and Alice touches the Seer Lady Storm to channel her. This happens by the spirit emerging from Alice’s mouth like a floating vomit puppet. She says some stuff I forget and then they catch up with Bebop stealing the arm in a Jesus Lockbox. When Hellboy — whose fight scenes all make it look like he lucks into wins — can’t beat Bebop, Mila Jovovich Witch sends an apparition of herself to convince Hellboy to be on her side.
After a blow up with Daddy Broom back at headquarters, Hellboy gets in the elevator to leave and Baba Yaga teleports him to her house on legs. Apparently, Hellboy banished her there and she wants his eye to replace the one she lost? Also, she eats kids and we get a nice pan to a meat locker with a child hanging from a hook. After some exposition I didn’t pay attention to, Baba Yaga plants the grossest kiss I’ve ever seen on Hellboy and then tosses him back to headquarters where he’s finally ready to Do The Damn Thing.
I don’t recall how they ended up in the woods fighting people but I know that suddenly Alice can punch the spirits right out of people. Hellboy confronts Mila Jovovich Witch and she throws a piece of her wooden crown into Alice’s neck and suddenly the witch that betrayed MJW appears and sends them to Merlin’s corpse for help.
I swear to you, I am not making any of this up.
Merlin tells Hellboy that his mom was a human and he is a descendant of King Arthur, which means he can wield Excalibur and kill Mila Jovovich Witch again. When Hellboy has a pretty badass vision upon touching Excalibur where he grows horns, kills people with a flaming Excalibur, and basically has a heavy metal life, he refuses to pull out the sword. (Phrasing.)
So Alice, Hellboy, and Daniel Dae Kim go to a church to confront Mila Jovovich Witch and Bebop. Bebop is much bigger and stronger, prompting Daniel Dae Kim to stop taking his meds and turn into a were-cheetah or some such. After they lose to Bebop — again, no idea how Hellboy lasted this long sucking this badly at fighting — Mila Jovovich Witch kills him and attempts to get Hellboy on her level. He refuses, she busts the floor and drops him into King Arthur’s burial chamber with Excalibur. She murders Daddy Broom and Hellboy finally snags the sword.
His Heavy Metal Fantasy begins, with demons rising from the ground and living their best lives ripping the skin off of still-living humans and skewering people on their pointy legs. When it seems Hellboy will totally marry Mila Jovovich Witch, Daddy Broom vomit projects out of Alice’s mouth and gives a speech. Hellboy beheads MJW, throws her head in the hell pit he opened, and the demons scurry back into Hell.
Then there is some scene reminiscent of that tacked-on scene in Blade Trinity where Alice, Hellboy, and Daniel Dae Were-Cheetah are teaming up to take down jerks and they happen upon Abe Sapien. THE END.
Holy crap, my head hurts. Harbour is a fantastic Hellboy but the script and special effects really screwed him over here. We can only hope he gets the chance to reprise the role with a script written by someone without ADHD and a confusion fetish, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. I also wouldn’t pay to see this movie again.
OH MY GOD I FORGOT ABOUT THE CHANGELING SCENE. Fairies stole baby Alice and replaced her with changeling Bebop. Hellboy running off Baby Bebop is the whole reason he wants revenge. F*ck this movie.
Image sources (in order of posting): Dark Horse Entertainment, Summit Entertainment