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Hellboy



"Hellboy" ... an adaptation of the dark comic book by Mike Mignola.

COLUMBIA TRI-STAR/ Revolution Studios' "Hellboy" is an adaptation of the dark comic book by Mike Mignola, but if you are not a comic book fan then this is not the movie that would enthral you. For once the inspiration is over and done with, most of the frames are filled with indestructible giant slugs in an orgy of visual effects. There is little to tie them all into a fluid narrative. All the action and the grim doomsday predictions about the world being overtaken by dark forces don't really move you and all you can do is watch this cornucopia of action with a reddish half man-half demon awkwardly shifting between extreme violence and comic dead pan wise cracks.

From what you would be able to figure out Hellboy is a monster forged in the depths of hell and brought to surface. On a dark and stormy night in the 1940's American soldiers led by British occult professor Trevor Broom (Kevin Trainor) manage to disrupt a ceremony designed to open an interdimensional portal and set apocalypse in motion. And doing this nasty deed is none other than Rasputin played by Karel Roden, the She Wolf Lisa (Bridget Hodson) age-old assassin Kroenen (Ladislav Beran) and a whole bunch of Nazis. The portal is shut down but not before a cherry red little devil baby with a stone arm pops out and Professor Broom decides to raise him as Hellboy.

Hellboy (Ron Perlman) has grown into a huge muscular, lantern jawed creature that works with the FBI to clean the environment of evil. An old professor, a psychic merman and several agents work in this institution. Just moving away from the flock of freaks is Liz Sherman (Selma Blair) who puts herself into a physiatrist institution to get over her fire starting abilities, mch to the dismay of Hellboy, who secretly nurses a soft spot for her. John Myers is the newest recruit in this set up to keep company for Hellboy and in the process is also responsible for bringing Liz back to the fold - but not without arousing the jealousy of Hellboy.

Even as all this is happening Hellboy is commissioned to investigate into a break in at the Machen Library where six guards lie dead and an ancient arteact is shattered. With the help of Abe the merman, the Prof is able to `see' what really happened and pronounces `they were here''. Hellboy quickly traces the lingering evil that is supposed to be ancient but looks pretty nicely computer generated— something summoned by the Rasputin and gang who are back to finish what they started some years ago.

The movie careens between marvels of visual impressions and gloomy forecast of a future filled with nothingness with very little character developments and relationships. It is all just there and the director (Guillermo Del Toro) tries to make the film an enjoyable suspense but it is likely to appeal only to those who enjoy this brand of content.

CHITRA MAHESH

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