Hellboy review from 2004


found this thing I wrote in the comments to my old blog; still viable now that the movie is cable fodder:

Good morbid, del Toro touches--I don't think we'll be forgetting the Nazi ninja surgery addict with the clockwork heart anytime soon. But if I see one more movie with a big energy monster about to "break through into our world" and cause a narrowly-averted apocalypse, I'll...

Hellboy has two narrative trajectories--both simplistic, because it's a Hollywood movie--which converge with the sprouting of his horns at the end. He's been filing them down to nubs to "blend in" with humans and because he's in love with a human woman. She has been flirting with a cute FBI agent and Hellboy's been spying on them jealously. His bad father Rasputin kills her and promises to revive her if Hellboy will open the gates of hell. When Hellboy sprouts horns, they are the monster rack worn in his new role as gatekeeper but also the cuckold's horns. Suddenly, as he is preparing to let the Squid Monster through the Portal, he hears the voice of his good father, John Hurt (saying what exactly I don't remember because this dumb movie is already fading fast), and for the greater good of humanity Hellboy abandons his promise to "always protect the girl" and chooses to stop the apocalypse. At this point he snaps off his horns in anger--a good visual. And because it's a Hollywood movie, there are no consequences to Hellboy's choice--he saves the world AND the girl mysteriously revives and declares her love for him. Thus does the logic of Greek Tragedy succumb to the logic of the Five Script Doctors.