MATTHEW LIEDKE ON FILM: If you like the look of the new 'Hellboy,' check out the original two
BEMIDJI—This weekend marks the return of the comic book character Hellboy to theaters. However, the latest adaptation of the graphic novel unfortunately doesn't feature Guillermo del Toro in the director's chair.
With the release of this version of "Hellboy," though, it's a great reminder to audiences to revisit the two features directed by del Toro in 2004 and 2008. The Academy Award winner helmed both adaptations, featuring Ron Perlman in the lead role.
While unconventional and stranger than most comic book adaptations, the "Hellboy" films were quite entertaining and had no shortage of humor, fantasy and action. This was especially true in the 2008 sequel, "The Golden Circle."
A visionary filmmaker, del Toro and his crew were able to do fantastic work creating the fantastical world where the "Hellboy" movies took place. From interesting character designs to wonderful settings, the production design was solid across the board.
Additionally, it helped how the actors really bought into their roles, making them convincing, and the characters were written to be unique, as they never felt generic.
Much of del Toro's filmography is like this, with some fantastic genre pictures in his library. One example is 2002's "Blade II."
As someone who was already a fan of the original, I was quite impressed by how well del Toro took the series in an even greater direction. Aside from some outdated computer effects, the film looks fantastic, it has tremendous style and the action is wonderful to watch.
The same can be said about del Toro's 2013 picture "Pacific Rim." The movie was like watching a giant robot anime come to life, and it was incredible. On top of the spectacle of seeing giant robots punch monsters, del Toro and company added fantastic details, such as cities built around the remains of defeated monsters.
Along with action, del Toro made a pretty solid thriller with 2015's "Crimson Peak." The film has an incredible gothic look, while featuring strong performances from Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain and Tom Hiddleston.
Regardless of the quality with the latest "Hellboy," audiences will always have the del Toro adaptations to enjoy. Plus, they open the door for viewers to enjoy the rest of the director's solid genre filmography.