What can I say? I had time to kill, and the bargain mat was at 5:20. But it was fun! It has all the elements of greatness: nasty Nazis (including a woman named Ilsa - are all Nazi women named Ilsa?), creepy corpses, acerbic wit, the unkillable Rasputin (of all people) and a cigar-smoking, cat-loving devil of a leading man. Plus, it takes place in New York, a city where anything can happen.
Interestingly, there are some heartbreakingly beautiful shots in this. One shot of a sea of black umbrellas parting to let a casket pass through...absolutely gorgeous. Another thing I admired about this film is the veiled violence. There is quite a lot of killing in this, especially impalements and stabbings. But we don't really ever see them. We see the body, we see the movements obscured by a pillar, we get the impression of the gruesome brutal murder, rather than all the graphic details. After The Passion of the Christ and Kill Bill, it's refreshing. It's also what I've been saying all along: It's just as effective, if not more so, to not see the gore but to imagine it.
The best part about this movie is Abe, voiced by David Hyde Pierce. Abe is a more erudite and cultivated version of the Creature from the Black Lagoon who loves rotten eggs and can psychically read people and objects. Selma Blair is Liz (a name shared by 60% of all the women in the world), a very Emily-like firestarter and Hellboy's love-interest. Which really raises the question, how does Ron Perlman do it? First Linda Hamilton in the 80's, now Selma Blair almost 20 years later...of course, they never see his face...but he still ends up with the girl. Must be the voice. Not bad for a 54-year-old guy!
It's not by any stretch a perfect movie...but hell. It's fun. When he saves the kittens in the subway, when he gets he gets jealous, when he gets advice from a nine-year-old...Hellboy will make you laugh. Or, at least, smile and chuckle ironically.