In the weeks following the release of Neil Marshall's Hellboy, star of the film Milla Jovovich took to social media to defend the film, which had been torn apart by critics, writing: "All my raddest films have been slammed by critics… every one of those films is now a cult classic. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. And this will be too. Mark my words."
And personally, I completely agree with Jovovich's opinion completely, as I found Marshall's "R" rated take on the iconic character to be a bloody fun time, regardless of its imperfections. Both Sean Ellis and I highly enjoyed our time with the film, so much that we even recorded a podcast defending it.
David Harbour, who played the titular character, recently gave his thoughts on the film in a chat with Digital Spy. Harbour even admits that it's not a perfect film, but he does believe it was unfairly trashed.
"We did our best, but there’s so many voices that go into these things and they’re not always going to work out. I did what I could do and I feel proud of what I did, but ultimately I’m not in control of a lot of those things," Harbour told the site.
Harbour continued, “The problem that I have with comic book movies nowadays is that I think, and it’s a result of the power of Marvel stuff, it’s like chocolate, it’s a flavor. So everybody goes chocolate is delicious and these guys make the best chocolate. So as you judge the movies, it’s like, ‘Well it’s not as chocolatey as this, this does not taste like chocolate at all.’ And I sort of want a world where there’s more flavors than just comparisons to chocolate. So in that way when Hellboy is viewed on the chocolate spectrum, it does very poorly.”
“That being said, it also has major problems,” he admitted. “I think as a rental or as a movie that you see on an airplane, I think you’d be like, ‘Oh that was fun’ because it’s a fun movie, and I think it was unfairly bludgeoned as a result of these comparisons.”
Basically, what Harbour is trying to say here is that the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have set the bar so high that every comic book film released is immediately compared to Marvel's best efforts. The thing is, Marshall's Hellboy was never even trying to be like Marvel (or even del Toro's films), instead the film aimed to be a wild, gory, action packed good time, and that's exactly what it delivered!
I think Harbour and Jovovich are right on the money with their assessments of the film.