- Review by Leo Mayr - May 10, 2018
Benjamin Wallfisch has had quite a busy time recently. On top of scoring DC’s Shazam and the upcoming IT: Chapter 2 amongst others, Wallfisch has somehow found the time write the score for the latest Hellboy adaptation. The movie sees David Harbour portray the big red half-demon in a fun action spectacle that really doesn’t deserve the negative reception it has received. The film does little that hasn’t been done before, yet the visually stunning and over the top action, rapid pace and humor (coming mostly from Harbour's performance) more than make up for a few narrative shortcomings.
Wallfisch’s score does a great job at infusing the film with just the right dose of insane fun, even if the score has to share the spotlight with quite a number of licensed songs. The score contains two quite distinct styles. A more traditional, orchestral approach that nicely represents the film’s dark fantasy elements, ominous choir included, and a more modern, electronic approach for the film’s many action set pieces.
It’s when those two sides interweave that Wallfisch’s score really shines. The dark and ominous orchestral music that evokes the impending Armageddon does blend nicely with the aggressive and electronic action music reminiscent of some of Wallfisch’s earlier works. The film features quite a few lengthy action sequences that really allow Wallfisch to have fun with the material, seamlessly navigating between large orchestral melodies and breathtakingly intense electronic action. Despite there being two distinct sides to the music, the way in which Wallfisch connects the two into one cohesive score makes for a wonderfully exciting and unique experience.
Hellboy is just plain and simple fun. There are no major surprises, no heartfelt moments or award-winning performances. But let’s be honest, that’s not what anyone expects from a Hellboy movie. Yes, it’s a shame we’ll never see a third Del Toro/Perlman movie, but at the end of the day, this new adaptation is far from the disaster some people proclaim it to be. The visuals, humor and Benjamin Wallfisch’s score all work together to create fun movie well worth experiencing.