Apr 7, 2004 at 12:00 am

Guillermo del Toro’s latest offering is definitely the best of the three movies by him that I’ve seen, but this should not inspire you to go see it. I say this because his other two visual atrocities, Mimic and Blade 2, were almost as enjoyable as, say, being ripped to pieces by rabid wolverines.

Hellboy begins during World War II, 1944. We learn that those zany, fun-loving Nazis have teamed up with Grigory Rasputin in an attempt to open a portal to another world that will bring about the apocalypse. You might be asking yourself, “Wait, what?” But this is the best part of the movie, so relish the fact that the first ten minutes aren’t 99.99 percent special-effects fluff.

Fast forward to present day, cue the hero music and discover that Hellboy (Ron “Big Red” Perlman) is our government’s main line of defense against everything paranormal. At this point you might want to leave the theater and go rent Ghostbusters because that’s what the next two hours will feel like, only not as good. Care to predict what happens next?

If you guessed a cliché Beauty and the Beast love story intermingled with boring PG-13 fight scenes that make you wonder why they didn’t rename it “Heckboy,” with special effects reminiscent of Looney Tunes, then you guessed right!

If you honestly can’t figure out what’s going to occur between the guy who’s immune to fire and the girl who’s the poster child for spontaneous combustion, then, congratulations! You must have been the winner of this month’s free lobotomy!

Diehard Hellboy fans and action junkies who crave special effects, product placement, and trite Schwarzenegger-esque one-liner dialogue will more than likely worship this movie. But everyone else, you’d probably have more fun watching a low-grade porn flick.

Chad Nelson writes about film for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].