DVD Review – “Hellboy: Sword of Storms”

AceCaseOR writes, Hellboy now has his first animated outing, a direct-to-video affair that has two of the major stars of the film reprising their roles. Read on for the rest of AceCaseOR’s review.

Cast and Crew

Ron Perlman as Hellboy
Selma Blair as Liz Sherman
Doug Jones as Abe Sapian
Peri Gilpin as Professor Kate Corrigan

Story by Mike Mignola and Tad Stones, screenplay by Matt Wayne, based on characters by Mike Mignola.
Produced by Mike Mignola and Guillermo del Toro.
Directed by Phil Weinstein.

Synopsis

Hellboy goes to Japan to investigate the possession of a professor of folklore.

High Point

“You just made the newbie face.”

Low Point

The faux-slow motion effect in some of the fight scenes just wasn’t pulled off right.

The Review

It’s based on a comic book series, so it’s not going to get top scores for originality. However, it’s an original story with the characters, plus the comics never particularly got around to Japanese folklore, at least not to the degree as this film does. That said, if you’ve watched a lot of anime or read a lot of manga, you’re going to see some familiar faces (as far as types of demons go). 3 out of 6.

Effects are pretty good. CGI, where used, works pretty well. There’s not a lot of it, but there doesn’t need to be a lot of it. 5 out of 6.

Story is very well done. The characters are true to form, though this is a different Liz, personality wise, from what we saw in the movie, but somewhat more in tune with that from the comics. As it is, it’s a good Hellboy story, with all that entails. 5 out of 6.

The film has an okay emotional response. There are significant characters you know will make it simply because if they were to be killed off, they’d be killed off in the comics. That said, it got the general reaction it was supposed to get, with the exception of the Abe Sapian/Liz Sherman romantic tension, though in all fairness, Mignola has admitted romantic tension is one of his weak points. 4 out of 6.

The production value is mediocre. When it’s good, it’s good. However, it has its bad moments, such as when they try to do slow motion. But, it’s an animated production for a network that is not known for its original productions (Starz), and they did a good job, and having some of the people who made the original film so good really helped. 4 out of 6.

Overall, when I put in the DVD, I legitimately wasn’t sure what to expect. I wasn’t worried about the story, because of Mike Mignola and Del Toro’s involvement in the production. I knew Perlman would do well, because he’s shown his voice acting skill in the past on shows like Teen Titans, and he did an superb job as Hellboy in the film. On the other hand, I was not aware of any voice-over work in Blair’s history, and I was concerned she’d phone in her performance. Fortunately, they both did fine, and the whole piece turned out well. 5 out of 6

In total, Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms rates 26 out of 42.

7 replies on “DVD Review – “Hellboy: Sword of Storms””

  1. Erf says:

    Doug Jones voice acting
    How was Doug Jones’s voice acting? He communicates so much with his body movements, I’m wondering how he handles being restricted to voice only. (Add to that the fact that almost all of his major roles have been silent or voiced over!)

    • AceCaseOR says:

      Re: Doug Jones voice acting

      How was Doug Jones’s voice acting? He communicates so much with his body movements, I’m wondering how he handles being restricted to voice only. (Add to that the fact that almost all of his major roles have been silent or voiced over!)

      Very, very well, actually. In all honesty, I’d never seen him outside of the Hellboy franchise before, and I’d forgotten that he was in the first Hellboy movie as Abe. I’d thought he was a professional voice actor they’d gotten. That’ll teach me not to do more IMDB research before submitting a review. ;)

      Apparently there is another Hellboy Animated film, "Blood and Iron" as well, with John Hurt reprising his role as Professor Broom. I’m going to have to pick that one up when it comes out on DVD.

      • Alexius says:

        Re: Doug Jones voice acting

        Very, very well, actually. In all honesty, I’d never seen him outside of the Hellboy franchise before, and I’d forgotten that he was in the first Hellboy movie as Abe. I’d thought he was a professional voice actor they’d gotten. That’ll teach me not to do more IMDB research before submitting a review. ;)

        At first, I’d forgotten he wasn’t David Hyde Pierce when I watched it, actually. He was pretty good.

  2. blackadam90 says:

    Giv ’em hell boy!
    Personally I thought that SoS was a very well put together and entertaining edition to the Hellboy lore. It was surprisingly adult for being aired on Toonami and was pretty damn kick ass for that matter. It also introduced my little brother to Hellboy, which is the reason I respect it the most. Opening up Hellboy, a likable and well written series to a younger audience with this movie and the new comic books of Hellboy animated. It will only motivate Mignola to write more, seeing as how Hellboy was not very widely know before the live action movie. I should know. I was the kid reading Chained Coffin when people were wondering what the novie was about. Overall a good movie, one I plan on buying.

  3. NorthWest says:

    36?
    Am I bad at math or was there a category left off? I only count 26 out of 36.

    • AceCaseOR says:

      Re: 36?

      Am I bad at math or was there a category left off? I only count 26 out of 36.

      Oh Crap! I forgot to give a score for acting, which would have given it a higher rating. I thought I covered everything when I was doing the proofreading. (Note: having a preview for article submission would have been nice).

      So, here’s what I forgot:

      The acting is spot on. Doug Jones’ performance was superb (and, honestly, demonstrated that he really didn’t need to be over-dubbed in the first Hellboy film, and hopefully won’t be over-dubbed in the second). Likewise, Ron Perlman and Selma Blair were great as well. 5 out of 6.

      (This now brings the score to 31 out of 42. Again, my deepest apologies for forgetting a catagory, and a very important one as well. If you’ll excuse me, I’ll go off and committ seppuku.)

      • Erf says:

        Re: 36?

        Doug Jones’ performance was superb (and, honestly, demonstrated that he really didn’t need to be over-dubbed in the first Hellboy film,

        Actually, that was decided before he was cast, apparently. I suspect they wanted David Hyde Pierce for the voice but figured he wasn’t physically right for the role. (That’s just a guess.)

        and hopefully won’t be over-dubbed in the second).

        He won’t be.

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