Hellboy (2004 film)
After everything that I said about Hellboy II, you might be wondering why the first Hellboy movie is the number one movie on this list. But, without this movie, we would not have had that sequel. It is the base for that sequel.
With Hellboy 2004, we got an origin story, as well as a chance to see Hellboy as a superhero. We got to see him grow into a team leader type of role. And we got to watch as he developed closer relationships with his own team. At the same time, we also got a chance to see how he is in action as an actual hero.
The thing that really made this movie special, was that it did deliver, drama, grittiness, humor, and a sense of purpose. There was a lot to cover in this first movie, and the filmmakers were able to do that with style and precision. They were able to pay attention to the details of Hellboy and his story, and that made all the difference.
Instead of cutting corners or trying to pack too much into the movie, they tweaked things to work within the constraints of the run time that they had. And while it is hard to say that the first Hellboy movie is better than the second, it’s not impossible when you consider that this movie is the basis for this character and his story arc. The fact that this movie utilizes the first comic featuring Hellboy means that we really were getting the beginning of the story. We get to see him becoming a member of a team, we get to see how he ends up as a hero, and we get to see his childhood in a small way. Basically, this movie has everything we need to start a franchise.
In this first movie, Ron Perlman leaves his mark as Hellboy. He embraces the character, and then fully embodies him. He gives us the standard, that we come to expect from any future portrayal. And it is because of him and the way he gave us a gritty and humorous take on the character that it is so hard to see anyone else step into the role and not judge them harshly.
Instead of rebooting the series with an older Hellboy, they may need to look back and start with a younger version of the character. Because at this point, they really don’t have another actor who can bring the brilliance of Perlman in this role. (Of course, a lot of that may have to do with the disappointment so many of us feel with the fact that we never got the third movie in the series.)
The first Hellboy from 2004 is absolutely our favorite, but its 2008 sequel pretty closely follows it. And sadly Hellboy 2019, just comes in last when it comes to these rankings.