[this is a public post]
I saw the movie Hellboy today. And I have to say, to me it wasn't all that impressive.
First, the main character, Hellboy - who spends his time kicking alien butt while drawing on his cigar and making wisecrack jokes - is so much like Duke Nukem it's unmistakable. There are a few subtle differences, such as the fact that the 'aliens' are actually demons and other assorted creatures from Hell, but I tell you, this guy is Duke Nukem brought to life.
Now, I'm not saying that the movie writers ripped off the idea from 3D Realms, the maker of the Duke Nukem series of computer games. In fact, for reasons that will be explained later, that's definitely not the case. But still... Hellboy. Duke Nukem. Both have missions to save the world by ridding us of aliens (or hellspawn; same difference). Both want to do this mission solo. Both smoke cigars and make wisecracks (pretty similar ones, too). Both have low, deliberate voices (and Hellboy's is perfectly like a human's, somehow - he must have picked up English well). And both have pretty darn big guns.
That's the second thing. Since when does a demon from Hell itself use guns? You'd think that they wouldn't use such human things; they could just rip their victims apart, or something. In fact, Hellboy's characterisation as a whole seems somewhat poor - he's just too human, apart from the fact that his skin's coloured red. Sure, he's a lot stronger than humans, but that's a typical cliche anyway. You'd *expect* that.
Of course, there's the obligatory love affair in there too. Hellboy loves Liz, but FBI agent John Myers - who is basically Hellboy's carer - does too. Things happen during the course of the movie, but as you'd expect, Hellboy gets Liz in the end. Obviously.
Talking of Liz, she has this ability (or misability) to explode. Well, not explode as such, but she can summon blue flame around her body, and 15 seconds or later, flame bursts out, incinerating anything nearby, and certainly seeming as if she's exploding. This would be cool, but it seems that it's not controllable by will alone. Oh wait, yes it is. Oh, no, actually it's not, it seems that somebody needs to hit her before she can do it, despite the fact that she did it on demand (well, at least with her left hand) earlier in the film.
Not only that, but this same blue flame re-appears in the final scene with no destructive effects whatsoever. Go on, guess what the final scene is. You'll never guess.
Yes, it's Liz and Hellboy kissing. And the blue flame appears around them both, with John looking on, but somehow it doesn't burst into flame. Which makes me wonder whether there was a reason that the blue flame appeared, or if it was just something the movie had in for show. Probably the latter.
Now, let me explain something. This movie is based off the Hellboy comic series. Yes, there's a comic about Hellboy. I didn't know this before the movie, and I left the cinema none the wiser of this nugget of information. Only thing is, I get the feeling it's kind of crucial to have read them before some things in the film make sense. Which is a shame; a lot of the criticisms above are probably therefore criticisms about the comic. And yes, this is also why it doesn't make sense to accuse the film of ripping off Duke Nukem. But, yeah.
In all, to me, it's not the best film in the world; in fact, it has some things that put it below average in my eyes. But any movie is worth seeing once, so go take a look if you haven't seen it.