Hellboy may not be the most famous comic book hero in the world, but he’s certainly well loved — a status that has earned him his very own cinematic reboot by director Neil Marshall, a little over a decade after Guillermo del Toro’s cult classic duology. Unfortunately, the return of Big Red to the silver screen is anything but a welcome one or a worthy successor to the original films.
A complete and total reboot of the franchise, Hellboy tries to make an entirely new cast work with Stranger Things’ David Harbour taking over the title role from originator Ron Perlman and Ian McShane bringing a new version of Professor Broom to life in John Hurt’s stead. That’s really the first mistake. Harbour and McShane lack any sort of real chemistry with one another, which repeatedly fumbles the father-and-son dynamic that is supposed to carry both Broom and Hellboy through their respective arcs. McShane spends the bulk of his screen time providing info dump exposition while Harbour rolls his eyes as best he can under pounds and pounds of makeup — which, maybe, could have worked if we were given any indication that their relationship had ever been anything but rocky.