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Hellboy (2004)

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 HELLBOY
 
Directed by: Guillermo Del Toro
Screenwriter: Guillermo Del Toro
Starring: Ron Perlman, John Hurt, Selma Blair, Rupert Evans

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AKA
"Monster-Busters"

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SUMMARY:

Beginning at the end of WWII, this comic book adaptation reveals the plot of a NAZI group involved with Hitler's occult group. Professor Bruttenholm, head of the Paranormal institute of investigation, has joined a task force of American soldiers to put an end to the Nazi's scheme, which is to open a portal to the other world. Specifically, they wish to unleash Hell on Earth and turn the tide of the War. As Bruttenholm and the team foil their scheme for now, they find a small being that escaped the portal when it was open. A small devil boy, which the professor tames with Baby Ruth candy bars. The team comes to fondly call him Hellboy, and Bruttenholm is determined to teach this being to follow the path of good.

Sixty years pass, and Hellboy is called on a mission to destroy a monster by the name of Sammael, which is terrorizing a local museum. With the help of his fish-man friend, Abe Sapien, he must destory the monster without revealing himself to an already suspicious public. What he finds, though, is that this is much more than a routine mission, and with the sudden troubles of his love interest, Liz, coming forth once more, Hellboy finds himself pulled into a war of good vs. evil that will test not only his power, but also whether his capability to be something better than his origins even exists.

POSITIVE ELEMENTS:

Hellboy, throughout the film, is continually talking about his wish to be something better. In one scene, where he has a conversation with his pyrokinetic girlfriend Liz, he states "I wish.. I could do something about this" (referring to his face). In several ways, whether by fighting for the good of mankind or by sanding down his horns, Hellboy is always continually trying to find a good within himself that his orgins claim doesn't exist.

Also, a profound story of a Father-Son relationship between Professor Bruttenholm and Hellboy takes place, placing great emphasis on the importance of family. Also, human life is not taken for granted, for when a few agents are killed, their loss is greatly suffered by the characters, not passed off as they are in some action flicks.

Also, the content is surprisingly on the fine level, with no sexual content save for a passionate kiss and a couple remarks, only a few cases of language, and no gory violence.

NEGATIVE ELEMENTS:

Some referances of the Bible are taken out of context, such as the villian's use of Revelation in the end to tie together a plot. Also, Bruttenholm is asked if he is a Catholic when he offers a cross necklace to a guard for protection. He replies, "Among other things." This comment, in my book, leaves room for tolerance in all faiths, when Jesus is the only way to God.

The content may be better than your average PG-13, but the violence does tend to be nonstop and sometimes brutal, giving sure reason for a PG-13 rating, and some mentionings of the occult and a few cases of necromancy are present. A few shots are somewhat gruesome, but not extremely gory. If violence and brief sorcery are a problem (and they should always be cautioned against depending on the maturity of the Christian), I would definitely reccomend against this one.

CONSENSUS:

When I first saw that they were making a movie called "Hellboy", it was immediately put on my do-not-see list. However, after I read the review from Focus on the Family, I found that it is chock full of moral debates and a good story to match. The characters are charming and heartfelt, and their values are very respectable. However, this movie lost a star in my Critic Points becuase of its nonstop violence and its use of sorcery. This is definitely a film for no one under the teens to see, and should always keep the maturity of the viewer in check. If you like a good action/Sci-Fi film, love the superhero flicks, and have a strong foundation in Christ, this film might stand a viewing in light of its profound teachings, but if this description doesn't fit you, don't bother joining the "Red Monkey" in one of his missions.

*Special Thanks to UnderFire311 for Revisions!