There is much to love about Hellboy, especially on a technical level (movie SFX don't get much better than this), though it certainly could've benefited from -- are we really suggesting this? -- a lack of such fine-tuned detail to every aspect of its being. You get the sense that director Guillermo del Toro is so entrenched in Mike Mignola's comic-book universe, so obsessed with getting Mignola's creation exactly right, that he forgot the one element that would've really made his movie soar: allowing those unfamiliar with the source material to look behind the curtain and find a welcoming smile. This is a geek movie made by a geek for the geeks who like it already, and it has no interest in letting in any new geeks. That sense of weirdo exclusivity results in a strangely elitist and snobby movie about a giant wisecracking cigar-chomping demon... and yet Ron Perlman's performance in the title role is so dead-on perfect -- and we do mean perfect -- that it barely matters.
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