If you didn’t see it first-hand, Hellboy’s latest outing on the big screen was nothing short of a disaster. Despite coming out last month, Neil Marshall’s reboot has already bombed out of theaters, finishing with a paltry $40M box office total worldwide.
Considering the film was barraged with brutal reviews, it’s not that shocking that audiences failed to show up. Yet, according to a recent interview with star David Harbour, most of that criticism was unfairly earned:
“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 in that way when Hellboy is viewed on the chocolate spectrum, it does very poorly… 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.”
Sure, comparing a film about a demonic-looking paranormal investigator to Avengers: Endgame is a bit like comparing apples and oranges, but more recent comic book movies have found success in embracing various genres like throwback comedies and secret westerns. There’s no reason that a more horrific and gory adaptation of Hellboy couldn’t work on the big screen, it just seems like this wasn’t the film to accomplish that.
Habour hasn’t been the only Hellboy star to speak out against critics, though. Shortly after its release, Milla Jovovich took to Instagram in defense of the movie, 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.”
Plagued with behind the scenes issues from the start, I don’t know if the movie every truly stood a chance at connecting with audiences. Guillermo del Toro’s first two Hellboy pics earned an 81% and 85% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, respectively, so one can’t necessarily blame its source material. Meanwhile, the much bloodier reboot racked up a 16%, one of the year’s worst so far. Maybe a third time’s the charm though, as Netflix is said to be planning a TV show for the character as we speak. If critics are to be believed, it apparently can’t be that much worse.
Do you agree with Harbour and Jovovich that Hellboy was unfairly maligned, though? Let us know in the comments section below.